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LIFE OF MOHAMMED. By Rev. George Bush, A. M. 

LIFE OF FULTON. By C. D. Colden, Esq. 

LIFE OF CLINTON. By David Hossack, LL. D. 

LIVES OF WASHINGTON and FRANKLIN. Improved editions. 

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Harper s Stereotype Edition. 









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BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 30th day of September, A. D. 1830, in the fifty- 
fifth year of the independence of the United States of America, J. & J. HARPER, of 
the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they 
claim as Proprietors, in the words following, to wit : 

" The Life of Mohammed ; Founder of the Religion of Islam, and of the Empire 
of the Saracens. By the Rev. George Bush, M.A." 

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled " Aji Act for fr 
encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the 
authors and proprietors of such "copies, during the times therein mentioned." And also 
to an Act entitled, "An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encou 
ragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors 
and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the 
benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other 

Clerk of the Southern District 

, 648123 


THE present work lays claim to no higher cha 
racter than that of a compilation. This indeed 
must necessarily be the character of any work at 
tempted, at this day, upon the same subject. 411 
the accessible facts in the life and fortunes of the 
Arabian prophet have long since been given to the 
world. New theories and speculations, moral and 
philosophical, founded upon these facts, and many of 
them richly deserving attention, are frequently pro 
pounded to the reflecting, but they add little or no 
thing to the amount of our positive information. 
All therefore that can now be expected is such a 
selection and arrangement and investment of the 
leading particulars of the Impostor s history, as 
shall convey to the English reader, in a correct 
and concentrated form, those details which are 
otherwise diffused through a great number of rare 
books, and couched in several different languages. 
Such a work, discreetly prepared, would supply, 
if we mistake not, a very considerable desideratum 
in our language one which is beginning to be 
more sensibly felt than ever, and which the spirit 

of the age loudly requires to have supplied. How 



far the present sketch may go towards meeting the 
demand, it becomes others than the writer to judge. 
He has aimed to make the most judicious use of 
the materials before him, and from the whole mass 
to elicit a candid moral estimate of the character 
of the Founder of Islam. In one respect he may 
venture to assure the reader he will find the plan 
of the ensuing pages an improvement upon pre 
ceding Memoirs ; and that is, in the careful colla 
tion of the chapters of the Koran with the events 
of the narrative. He will profoibly find the history 
illustrated to an unexpected extent from this 
source a circumstance, which, while it serves 
greatly to authenticate the facts related, imparts a 
zest also to the tenor of the narrative scarcely to 
be expected from the nature of the theme. 

In order to preserve the continuity of the story 
from being broken by incessant reference to au 
thorities, the following catalogue is submitted, 
which will present at one view the principal works 
consulted and employed in preparing the present 
Life : Sale s Koran, 2 vols. ; Universal History, 
Mod. Series, vol. i. ; Gibbon s Decline and Fall 
of the Roman Empire, vol. iii. ; Pride aux s Life of 
Mahomet ; Boulainvillier s do. ; do. in Library of 
Useful Knowledge, No. 45 ; Bayle s Historical 
Dictionary, Art. Mahomet ; Hottinger s Historia 
Orientalis : Abul-Faragii Historia Dynastarum, 
Pocock s Transl. ; Morgan s Mahoinetism Ex 
plained, 2 vols. ; Forster s Mahometanism Un 
veiled, 2 vols. ; D Herbeiot s Bibliotheque Orien- 

I K.M A 1.. 7 

tale ; Rycaut s Present State of tlio Ottoman Em 
pire ; Ocklcy s History of the Saracens, 2 vols. ; 
White s Bampton Lectures ; Lee s Translation of 
the Rev. H. Martyn s Controversial Trac: 
Whitaker s Origin of Arianism ; Faber s Sacred 
Calendar of Prophecy, 3 vols. ; Buckingham s, 
Keppel s, Burckhardt s, and Madden s Travels in 
the East. 

On the subject of the Arabic proper names so 
frequently occurring in this work, it may be useful 
to the English reader to be informed, thai Al is a 
particle equivalent to our definite article The. 
Thus, Alcoran is composed of two distinct words 
signifying The Koran, of which the last only 
ought to be retained in English. Again, Ebn is 
the Arabic word for son, as is Bint or Binta for 
daughter, and with the particle Al after it, accord 
ing to the Arabic usage, Ebncfl is, the son. So 
Abu, father, with the article after it, Abu l, the fa 
ther. Thus, Said Ebn Obeidah Abu Omri, is, 
Said, the son of Obeidah father of Omri ; it be 
ing usual with the Arabs to take their names of 
distinction from their sons as well as their fathers. 
In like manner, Ebno l Athir, is, the son of Athir ; 
Abu l Abbas, the father of Abbas : and as Abd 
signifies servant, and Allah, God ; Abdo^lah or Ab- 
dallah is, servant of God ; Abdo l Snems, servant 
of the sun, 

The deciding between the different modes in 
which the prophet s name is, or ought to be, writ- 


ten, and the adoption of the most eligible, has been 
a matter of perplexing deliberation. Upon con 
sulting the Greek Byzantine historians, it appears 
that the same diversity of appellation which now 
prevails, has obtained for seven centuries. In some 
of them we meet with Maometis r from which 
comes our Mahomet, the most popular and familiar 
title to the English ear ; and in others, Machomed. 
Other varieties among ancient authors might doubt 
less be specified. But it will be observed, for the 
most part, that writers acquainted with the Arabic 
tongue and who have drawn their materials directly 
from the original fountains, as well as the great 
body of recent Oriental travellers, are very unani 
mous in adopting the orthography of the name 
which appears in our title page. If the Arabic 
usage be in fact the proper standard, as will pro 
bably be admitted, Mohammed, instead of either 
Mahomet, Mahomed, or Mahommed, is the genuine 
form of the name, and the mode in which it should 
be uniformly written and pronounced. The fact, 
that the example of most Oriental scholars of the 
present day has given currency to this form, and 
the probability that it will finally supplant all 
others, has induced us, on the whole, to adopt it, 
though with considerable hesitation. 

The following list of names and titles frequently 
occurring in connexion with the affairs of the East, 
together with their etymological import, will not be 
deemed inappropriate to the object of the present 

PREFAtI . 9 

MOHAMMED, > From HAMAD; praised, higlrty ce- 
AHMED. J lebrated, illustrious, glorious. 

MOSLEM, 1 All from the same root, ASLAM ; 
MUSSULMAN, ( signifying to yield up, dtdic- 
ISLAM, f consecrate entirdy to the SL/ CICC 

ISLAMISM. of religion. 

KORAN. From KARA, to read ; the reading, legend, 
or that which ought to be read. 


CALIPH. A successor ; from the Hebrew CHALAPH; 
to be changed, to succeed, to pass round in 
a revolution. 

SULTAN. Originally from the Chaldaic SOLTAN ; 
signifying authority, dominion, principality. 

VIZIER. An assistant. 

HADJ. Pilgrimage; HADJI; one who makes the 
pilgrimage to Mecca. 

SARACEN. Etymology doubtful ; supposed to be 
from SARAK, to steal ; a plunderer, a robber. 

HE JIRA, } The Flight ; applied emphatically to Mo 
or > hammed s flight from Mecca to Me- 
HEJRA. ) dina. See page 106. 

MUFTI The principal head of the Mohammedan 
religion, and the resolver of all doubtful 
points of the law. An office of great dig 
nity in the Turkish empire. 

IMAM. A kind of priest attached to the mosques, 
whose duty it is occasionally to expound 


a passage of the Koran. They, at the 
same time, usually follow some more lucra 
tive employment. 

MOOLLAH. The Moollahs form what is called 
the Ulema, or body of doctors in theology 
and jurisprudence, who are entrusted with 
the guardianship of the laws of the em 
pire, and from whose number the Mufti is 

EMIR. Lineal descendants of the Prophet him 
self, distinguished by wearing turbans of 
deep sea-green, the colour peculiar to all 
the race of Mohammed. They have spe 
cial immunities on the score of their de 
scent, and one of them carries the green 
standard of the Prophet when the Grand 
Seignior appears in any public solemnity. 

PASHA. The title given to the provincial governors. 
A Pasha is to a province or pashalic, what 
the Sultan is to the empire, except that the 
judicial power is in the hands of the cadis, 
the provincial magistrates. The tails of a 
Pasha are the standards which he is allowed 
to carry ; one of three tails is one of three 


standards, which number gives the power 
of life and death. 

REIS EFFENDI. This officer may be termed the 
High Chancellor of the Ottoman empire. 
He is at the head of a class of attorneys 


which at this time contains the best informed 
men of the nation. 

SERAGLIO. This word is do rived from Serai, a 
term of Persian origin, signifying a palace. 
It is therefore improperly used as synony 
mous with Herein, the apartments of the 
women. The Seraglio is, in strictness of 
speech, the place where the court of the 
Grand Seignior is held ; but it so happens 
that at Constantinople tli is building includes 
the imperial Harem within its walls. 

CRESCENT. The national ensign of the Turks, 
surmounting the domes and minarets at 
tached to their mosques, as the Cross does 
the churches of the Roman Catholics in 
Christian countries. This peculiar and 
universal use of the Crescent is said to 
have owetKJs origin to the fact, that at the 
time of Mohammed s flight from Mecca to 
Medina the moon was new. Hence the 
half moon is commemorative of that event. 

SUBLIME PORTE. This title, which is frequently 
applied to the court, cabinet, or executive 
department of the Ottoman empire, is de 
rived, as the words import, from a lofty 
arched gateway of splendid construction, 
forming the principal entrance to the Seraglio 
or palace. It is a phrase equivalent to 
" Court of St. James," " Court of St. Cloud," 


As one grand object continually aimed at by the 
compiler of the ensuing pages has been to exhibit 
the Arabian prophet as a signal instrument in the 
hands of Providence, and to put the whole system 
of his imposture, with its causes, accompaniments, 
and effects, where it properly belongs, into the 
great scheme of the Divine administration of the 
world, it is hoped that the prophetic investigations 
of this subject in the Appendix will not be over 
looked. The writer is disposed to lay a peculiar, 
perhaps an unreasonable, stress of estimation upon 
this portion of the work. Not that he deems the 
interpretation proposed as infallible, but he is in 
hopes that this essay towards a right explication 
may contribute somewhat to inspire a more gene 
ral interest in this province of scriptural elucida 
tion, and thus to pave the way for the eventual 
correction of the errors of this and every preceding 
exposition. No one who admQfe the truth of reve 
lation but will acknowledge that events, which are 
so overruled irx the providence of God as to revo 
lutionize a great portion of the civilized and Chris 
tian world, are important enough to claim n place 
in the prophetic developernents of futurity ; and if 
predicted, these predictions, when accomplished, 
are worthy of being explained. Otherwise, we 
willingly and culpably forego one of the main ar 
guments in favour of the truth and divinity of the 
inspired oracles. 



Introduction 17 

< 1 1 AFTER I. 

National Descent of the Arabs Proved to be from Ishmael, Son of 
Abraham 25 


Birth and Parentage of Mohammed Loses his Parents in early < luid- 
hood Is placed under the Care of his I nde Abu Taleb Goes into 
Syria on a trading Expedition with his Un< ; at ilu- Age of thirteen 
Enters the Service of Cadijah, a Widow of Mtvca, whom he afterward 
marries 32 


Mohammed forms the Design of palming a new Religion upon the 
World Difficult to account for this Determination Considerations 
suggested Retires to the Cave of Hera Announces to Cadijah the 
Visits of Gabriel with a Portion of the Koran She becomes a Convert 
His slow Progress in gaining Proselytes Curious Coincidence 45 


The Prophet announces his Mission among his Kindred of the Koreish 
Meets with a harsh Repulse Begins to declare it in Public View 
of his fundamental Doctrines His Pretensions respecting the Koran 
The disdainful Rejection of his Message" by his fellow-citizens 
His consequent Denunciations against them 50 








Mohammed not discouraged by Opposition The Burden of his Preaching 
Description of Paradise Error to suppose Women excluded Of 
Hell Gains some Followers Challenged to work a Miracle His 
Reply The Koran the grand Miracle of his Religion Judicial Ob 
duracy charged unon the Unbelievers 68 


The Koreish exasperated and alarmed by Mohammed s growing Success 
Commence Persecution Some of his Followers seek safety in 
Flight New Converts The Koreish form a League against him Abu 
Taleb and Cadijah die He makes a temporary Retreat from Mecca 
Returns and preaches with increased Zeal Some of the Pilgrims 
from Medina converted 83 


The Prophet pretends to have had a Night-journey through the Seven 
Heavens Description of the memorable Night by an Arabic writer 
Account of the Journey His probable Motives in feigning such an 
extravagant Fiction 89 


An Embassy sent to the Prophet from Medina Enters into a League 
with them Sends thither a Missionary Another Deputation sent to 
proffer him an Asylum in that City His Enemies renew their Perse 
cutions Determines to fly to Medina Incidents on the Way Makes 
a solemn Entry into the City Apostate Christians supposed to have 
joined in tendering him the Invitation 101. 


The prophet now raised to a high Pitch of Dignity Builds a Mosque 
A Change in the Tone of his Revelations The Faithful now com 
manded to fight for the true Religion His first warlike Attempt 
unsuccessful The Failure compensated in the Second Account of , 
the Battle of Beder This Victory much boasted of Difficulties in the 
Division of the Spoil Caab, a Jew, assassinated at the Instance of 
the Prophet 109. 



ed / 
of T 

Mohammed alters the Kebla Many of his Followers greatly offended 
thereby Mohammedan Institution of Prayer Appoints the Fast 
Ramadan Account of this Ordinance 119 


The Korrish undertake a new Expedition against the Prophet The 
Battle of Ohod Mohammed and his Army entirely defeated His Fol 
lowers murmur The Prophet s poor Devices to retrieve the Disgrace 
incurred in this Action Resolves it mainly into the Doctrine of Pre 
destination Wine and Games of Chance forbidden Sophyan, son of 
Caled, slain War of the Ditch 126 


The Jews the special Objects of Mohammed s Enmity Several Tribes 
of them reduced to Subjection Undertakes a Pilgrimage to Mecca 
The Mercan.s conclude a Truce with him of ten Years His Po 
and Authority -zrratly increased Has a Pulpit constructed for his 
Mosque Goes anainst Chaibar, a City of the Arab Ji \vs Besieges 
and takes the City, hut is poisoned at an Entertainment by a young 
Woman Is still able to prosecute his Victories 135 



Mohammed alleges a Breach of Faith on the Part of the Mrrans, and 
marches an Army against them The City surrendered to the Con 
queror Abu Sophyan and Al Abbas, the Prophet s Uncle, declare 
themselves Converts Mecca declared to be Holy Ground- -The neigh 
bouring Tribes collect an Army of four thousand Men to arrest the 
growing Power of the Prophet The Confederates entirely overthrown 
A rival Prophet arises in the Person of Moseilama Is crushed by 
Caled 142 


The Religion of the Prophet firmly established The principal Countries 
subjected by him The effects of the Poison make alarming Inroads 
upon his Constitution Perceives his End approaching Preaches for A / 
the last Time in Public His last Illness and Death The Moslems 
scarcely persuaded that their Prophet was dead Tumult appeased 
by Abubeker The Prophet buried at Medina The Story of the 
hanging Coffin false 150 



Reflections upon the extraordinary Career of Mohammed Description 
of his Person General View and Estimate of his Character. ... 156 


Account of the Prophet s Wives Cadijah Ayesha Hafsa Zeinab 
Safya His Concubines Singular Precepts in the Koran respecting 
the Wives of Mohammed His comparative Treatment of Jews and 
Christians Predictions of the Prophet alleged by Mohammedans to 
be contained in the sacred Scriptures .......................... 167 

APPENDIX A. Inspired Prophecies respecting Mohammed and Moham 
medanism considered ......................................... 181 

APPENDIX B. The Caaba, and the Pilgrimage to Mecca ........... 210 

APPENDIX C. The Koran ...................................... 227 

APPENDIX D. Mohammedan Confession of Faith ................ 241 

APPENDIX E. -Account of Authors .............................. 250 


In page 75, line 11, for then, read " there." 
156, 14, for eight, read " eighty." 
181. " 5, Dan. vii. 8-26," is omitted 


No revolution recorded in history, if we rvcpt 
that effected by the religion of the (Jospcl, has in 
troduced greater changes into the state of the civil 
ized world, than that which h :mvn out of the 
rise, progress, and permanence of Mohammedan- 
Ism. The history and character, therefore, of this 
religion becomes an object of laudable curiosity 
with every enlightened mind. Considered merely 
as a department of the general annals of the 
world, apart from any connexion with the true re 
ligion, it furnishes some of the most interesting 
records of the human race. But when viewed as 
a part of the great chain of providential and pre 
dicted events, designed to have a direct bearing 
upon the state of the Christian church, through the 
whole period of its disastrous prevalence, it urges 
a new and stronger claim upon our attention. By 
many distinguished writers, who have deeply stu 
died its origin, genius, and history, ths religion of 
the Koran is confidently regarded rather as a 
Christian heresy, or the product of a Christian 


heresy, than as a heathen superstition.* Conse 
quently, its fate is involved in that of all false 
doctrines which have corrupted the Gospel ; and as 
far as the disclosures of prophecy, or the present 
posture of the nations of the earth, hold out a 
hope of the speedy downfall of delusion, and of 
the establishment of the truth, the eye is naturally 
turned with deepening interest and anxiety to those 
regions of the globe where this religion has so 
long prevailed. 

But in proportion to the interest inspired in the 
general subject of Mohammedanism, is that which 
is felt in the life, character, and actions of its 
founder. That an obscure individual, sprung from 
the roving tribes of Arabia, following no higher 
occupation than that of a caravan-trader, possess 
ing no peculiar advantages of mental culture, nor 
distinguished in the outset by any pre-eminence of 
power or authority, should yet have been enabled, 
in spite of numerous obstacles, to found such an 
extensive empire over the minds, as well as per 
sons, of millions of the human race, and that this 
dominion should have been continued for more 
than twelve hundred years, presents a phenomenon 
which increases our wonder the more steadily it is 

* u Hence," says the learned and exemplary Mede, " Mahometanism 
has frequently been accounted a Christian heresy ; and as it had its 
origin in Christianity, so to Christ it looks in the end. For, according to 
the creed of the Mahometans, Jesus is expected to descend to earth, to 
embrace the religion of Mahomet, to slay Antichrist, and to reign with 
his saints." The same authority affirms, " that the Mahometans are 
nearer to Christianity than many of the ancient heretics ; the Cerinthians, 
Gnostics, and Manicheee." 


It is proposed in tin- ensuing pno-r^ to rxhihit 
the prominent events of the lilr and fortunes of 
this remarkable mm. It will not, of coi he 
expected that, at this distance ui time and renn 
ness of place, a mass of la- itirely now should 
be communiratod to the world. The di- 
of the materials already oxtail is all that can now he 
reasonably required or attempted. ^\ et we arc nor 
without hope, that in one aspect, at least, our theme 
may present itself arrayed in a cha>- of noxelty 

and of unwonted h; ; : wemran, in it- conn< \ions 
with Christianity. An enliohtened ( hristian e>ti- 
mate of the ptophet of Arabia and his religion is, we 
helieve, seldom formed, simply h< - the sub- 
ject has seldom been so presented as to afl ord the 
means of sueli an rstimr A bi ket,-h, the, 
fore, of the state of Christianity at the time of 
Mohammed s appea. dly in that region 

of the world in which his imposture took its rise, 
will properly invite the re: t tent ion at the 

outset of the work. This will show more elearly 
the intended providential brnrinjr* of the entire 
fabric of Mohammedan delusion upon the church 
of Christ; and, apart from this particular view of 
it, we are persuaded that an entirely correct or 
adequate judgment of Islamism cannot be formed. 


State of Christianity in the Sixth Century, 
particularly in the Eastern Churches. 

The distinction of Eastern and Western churches, 
in ecclesiastical history, is founded upon a similar 
geographical division of the Roman empire under 
the emperors, into two great departments ; the one 
including the countries of Asia or the East, which 
had been subjected to the Roman arms, and the 
other those of Europe, more properly denominated 
the West. This distinction became still more 
common from the days of Constantine, who re 
moved the seat of the empire from Rome to Con 
stantinople, though the final and complete rupture 
between the Greek and Latin churches did not oc 
cur till the seventh century. 

Over the largest portion of the Roman empire 
the Christian religion was early propagated, and 
for two or three centuries subsisted in a great de 
gree of its original simplicity and purity. Flourish 
ing churches were planted by the Apostles them 
selves in the different provinces of Asia Minor, 
and along the eastern limits of Europe ; from which 
" the word sounded out" to the adjacent territories 
with a multiplying power, so that the cause and 
kingdom of the Redeemer continued to spread long 
after its first propagators had entered into their 
rest. But a gradual degeneracy supervened upon 
the primitive prosperity of the church. During 
the fourth century " the mystery of iniquity," 
which had been long before working in secret, 


began to discover itself more openly, and though 
the Christians, by the laws of the empire, were ex 
empted from JM i -ecution, yet from this time for 
ward a growing declension and defection among 
them is to be traced through every subsequent 
period, till at length, in the seventh century, " the 
man of sin" became fully revealed, and, accord i- 
to the predictions of holy writ, took his seat " 
God in the temple of God, opposing and exalting 
himself above all that is called God, or is wor 
shipped." It was -about the period at which Mo 
hammed arose that this fearful apostaey had at 
tained its height that t% the transgressors had 
come to the full" and the degree to which the 
nominal church had departed from the standard of 
faith, morals, and \\or>hij> contained in the Scrip 
tures, well nigh surpasses he lief. Then it was that 
those foul corruptions and sii| itions were in 
troduced into the church, which finally grew to 
such a pitch of enormity as to occasion the sepa 
ration of Luther and the other reformers from what 
they deemed and denominated the communion of 
Antichrist. At this period it was, that the venera 
tion for departed saints and martyrs the idolatrous 
worship of images and relics the renderinir divine 
honours to the Virgin Mary the doctrine of pur 
gatory and the adoration of the Cross, had be 
come flnniv csi.ihlished ; ;md thus the lustre of the 
Gospel Buffered a dark eclipse, and the essence of 
Christianity was lost under a load of idle and su 
perstitious ceremonies. 

In the en stern parts of tho empire, especially 


Syria and the countries bordering upon Arabia, as 
well as in some parts of Arabia itself, these evils 
were aggravated by the numerous sects and here 
sies that prevailed, and by the incessant contro 
versial wars which they waged with each other. 
The church was torn to pieces by the furious dis 
putes of the Arians, Sabellians, Nestorians, Euty- 
chians, and Collyridians, by whom the great doc 
trines of Christianity were so confounded with 
metaphysical subtleties and the jargon of schools, 
that they ceased, in great measure, to be regarded 
as a rule of life, or as pointing out the only way 
of salvation. The religion of the Gospel, the 
blessed source of peace, love, and unity among 
men, became, by the perverseness of sectaries, a 
firebrand of burning contention. Council after 
council was called canon after canon was en 
acted prelates were traversing the country in 
every direction in the prosecution of party pur 
poses, resorting to every base art, to obtain the 
authoritative establishment of their own peculiar 
tenets, and the condemnation and suppression of 
those of their adversaries. The contests also for 
the episcopal office ran so high, particularly in the 
West, that the opposing parties repeatedly had re 
course to violence, and, in one memorable instance, 
the interior of a Christian church was stained by 
the blood of a number of the adherents of the rival 
bishops, who fell victims to their fierce contentions. 
Yet it is little to be wondered at that these places 
of preferment should have been so greedily sought 
after by men of corrupt minds, when we learn, 


that they opened the direct road to wealth, luxury, 
and priestly power. Ancient historians represent 
the bishops of that day, as enriched by the pre 
sents of the opulent, as riding abroad in pompous 
state in chariots and sedans, and surpassing, in the 

extravagance of their feasts, the sumptuouMi<>s of 

princes; while, at tin; same time, the most barba 
rous ignorance was fast overspreading the nations 
of Christendom, the ecclesiastical orders them 
selves not excepted. Among the bishops, the legi 
timate instructors and defenders of the church, num 
bers were to be found incapable of composing the 
poor discourses which their office retimed them to 
deliver to the people, or of subscribing the decrees 
which they passed in their councils. The little 
learning in vogue was chiefly confined to the 
monk-. But they, instead of cultivating science, 
or diffusing any kind of useful knowledge, squan 
dered their time in the study of the fabulous le 
gends of pretended saints and martyrs, or in com 
posing histories equally fabulous. 

This woful corruption of doctrine and morals in 
the clergy was followed, aS might be expected, by 
a very general depravity of the common people; 
and though we cannot suppose that God left him 
self altogether without witnesses in this dark pe 
riod, yet the number of the truly faithful had dwin 
dled down to a mere remnant, and the wide-spread 
ing defection seemed to call aloud for the judg 
ments of heaven. In view of this deplorable state 
of Christianity, anterior to the appearance of Mo 
hammed, we are prepared to admit at once the 


justness of the following remarks upon the moral 
ends designed to be accomplished by Providence 
in permitting this desolating scourge to arise at this 
particular crisis of the world. 

" At length," says Prideaux, " having wearied 
the patience and long-suffering of God, he raised 
up the Saracens to be the instruments of his wrath 
to punish them for it ; who, taking advantage of the 
weakness of their power, and the distraction of 
counsels which their divisions had caused among 
them, overran, with a terrible devastation, all the 
eastern provinces of the Roman empire. And 
having fixed that tyranny over them which hath 
ever since afflicted those parts of the world, turned 
every where their churches into mosques, and their 
worship into a horrid superstition ; and instead of 
that holy religion which they had abused, forced 

on them the abominable imposture of Mahomet 

Thus those once glorious and most flourishing 
churches, for a punishment of their wickedness, 
being given up to the insult, ravage, and scorn of 
the worst of enemies, were on a sudden over 
whelmed with so terrible a destruction as hath re 
duced them to that low and miserable condition 
under which they have ever since groaned ; the 
all- wise providence of God seeming to continue 
them thus unto this day under the pride and perse 
cution of Mahometan tyranny, for no other end 
but to be an example and warning unto others 
against the wickedness of separation and divi 




National Descent of the Arabs Proved to be from Ishmae Z, son of 


IN tracing the genealogy of nations to their pri 
mitive founders, the book of Genesis is a docu 
ment of inestimable value. AVith those wno do 
not hesitate to receive this and the other inspired 
books of the Scriptures as authentic vouchers for 
historical facts, the national descent of the Arabs 
from Ishmael, the son of Abraham, is a point 
which will not admit of dispute. The fact of this 
derivation, however, has been seriously brought 
into question by several skeptical writers, par 
ticularly by the celebrated historian of the De 
cline and Fall of the Roman Empire. With his 
usual dexterity of insinuation, he assails the united 
authority of Scripture history and Arabian tradi 
tion, respecting the pedigree of this remarkable 
people. Yet in no case does he undertake, in a 
formal manner, to disprove the fact to which he 
still labours to give the air of a fiction.* A suc 
cinct view, therefore, of the testimonies which go 
to establish the Ishmaelitish origin of the Arabs, 

* Decline and Fall. ch. 1. 



may form no unsuitable introduction to the pre 
sent work, detailing the life and character of the 
individual who has done so much towards render 
ing the race illustrious. 

From the narrative of Moses we learn not only 
the parentage, birth, and settlement of Ishmael in 
Arabia, but the fact also of a covenant made with 
Abraham in his behalf, accompanied with a pro 
phecy respecting his descendants, singularly ana 
logous to the prophetic promise concerning the 
more favoured seed of Isaac. "And Abraham 
said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before 
thee ! And God said, Sarah, thy wife, shall bear 
thee a son indeed ; and thou shalt call his name 
Isaac : and I will establish my covenant with him 
for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after 
him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: 
Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him 
fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly ; twelve 
princes shall he beget, and I will make him a 
great nation."* In like manner, it will be recol 
lected, the nation of Israel sprung from the twelve 
sons of Jacob, and was divided into twejve tribes. 
In a subsequent part of the Mosaic records we 
find the notice of the incipient fulfilment of this 
prediction concerning the posterity of Ishmael 
" And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, 
by their names, according to their generations : 
The first-born of Ishmael, Nebajoth, and Kedar, 
and Adbeel, and Mibsam, and Mishma, and 
Dumah, and Massah, Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, 

* Genesis, xvii. 1820. 


Naphish, and Kedemah. These are tlic sons of 
Ishmad, and these are their names, by their 
towns, and by their castles : twelve princes -ac 
cording to their nations."* Their geographical 
residence is clearly ascertained in a .subsequent 
verse. "And they dwelt from Ilavilah unto Shur, 
that is before Egypt as thou goest towards Assy 
ria."! Havilah and Shur, by tlie consent of the 
best sacred geographers, are allowed to ha\< rum- 
posed part of the region between the Euphrates 
and the Red Sea, denominated Arabia.;}; From 
causes now unknown, the tribes of Nrbajoth and 
Kedar appear to have acquired an ascendency 
over the rest, so that the whole country is some 
times designated from one, sometimes from the 
other of them, just as the entire nation of Israel is 
sometimes called Judah from the superior num 
bers, power, or influence of that tribe. Amonr 
the ancient profane historians also we find tin; 
names of Nabitkcan* and Kedartnes frequently 
employed as an appellation of the roving inhabit 
ants of the Arabian deserts. Tin s testimony 
is directly confirmed by that of Josephus. After 
reciting the names of the twelve sons of Ishmael, 
he adds : " These inhabit all the country extend 
ing from the Euphrates to the Red Sea, giving it 
the name of the Nabatcnean region. These are 
they who have given names to the whole race of 
the Arabs with their tribes. v $ In the fourth cen 
tury, Jerome, in his commentary on Jeremiah, de- 

* Genesis, xxv. 1316. fVer. 18. 

J Welis s Sac. Geogr. vol. i. p. 311. $ Ant. Jud. b. i. ch. 12, $ 4. 


scribes Kedar as a country of the Arabian desert, 
inhabited by the Ishmaelites, who were then termed 
Saracens. The same father, in his commentary 
on Isaiah, again speaks of Kedar as the country 
of the Saracens, who in Scripture are called Ish 
maelites ; and observes of Nebajoth, that he was 
one of the sons of Ishmael, after whose names the 
Arabian desert is called. 

Another source of evidence in relation to the na 
tional descent of the Arabs, is their having prac 
tised, from time immemorial, the rite of circum 
cision. Josephus has a very remarkable passage 
touching the origin of this rite among the Jews 
and Arabs, in which he first makes mention of the 
circumcision of Isaac ; then introduces that of 
Ishmael ; and states concerning each, as matter of 
universal and immemorial notoriety, that the Jews 
and the Arabians severally practised the rite, con 
formably with the precedents given them, in the 
persons of their respective fathers. His words 
are these : " Now when Sarah had completed 
her ninetieth, and Abraham his hundredth year, a 
son (Isaac) is born unto them : whom they forth 
with circumcise on the eighth day ; and from him 
the Jews derive their custom of circumcising 
children after the same interval. But the Ara 
bians administer circumcision at the close of the 
thirteenth year : for Ishmael, the founder of their 
nation, the son of Abraham by his concubine, was 
circumcised at that time of life." Similar to this 
is the testimony of Origen, who wrote in the third 

* Ant. Jud. b. i. cfc. 10, $ 5. 


century of the Christian era. " The natives of Ju- 
dea," says lie, "generally drcumcise their children 
on the eighth day; hut the [shmaelite* who in 
habit Arahia nni\ i -;illy practise eircnincision in 
the thirteenth year. For this InMory tells us con 
cerning them."* This writer, like Joseplms, li\cd 
near the spot, and had the best opportunities of ob 
taining correct information respecting the Arabians. 
It is evident, therefore, beyond contradiction, 1 n.ia 
his words, that the fact of their derivation from 
Abraham through Ishmael was an established 
point of historical record, and not of mere tradi 
tionary fame, at the period at which he wrote. 

The direct testimony to the Ijshmaelitisli ex 
traction of the Arabs furnished by the earliest re 
cords of the Bible, and confirmed as we see by foreign 
authorities, is strikingly corroborated by repeated 
references, bearing upon the same point, in later 
inspired writers, particularly the prophets. Through 
the long course of sacred history and prophecy, 
we meet with reiterated allusions to existing tribes 
of Arabia, descending from Ishmael, and bearing 
the names of his several sons, among which those 
of Nebajoth and Kedar usually predominate. 
Thus the Prophet Isaiah, in foretelling the future 
conversion of the Gentiles, makes mention of the 
" rams of Nebajoth" the eldest, and " all the flocks 
of Kedar? the second of the sons of Ishmael ; 
that is, of the Arab tribes descending from these 
brothers ; a passage which not only affords strong 

* Grig. Op. torn. ii. p. 16, eL Bened. 



proof of our main position, but conveys also an in 
timation of the future in-gathering of the Moham 
medan nations into the Christian Church. The 
same Prophet, in another part of his predictions, 
notices " the cities of the wilderness, the villages 
that Kedar doth inhabit." And again, when de 
nouncing impending calamity upon the land of Ara 
bia, he foretells how " all the glory of Kedar shall 
fail ;" he employs the name of this single tribe as 
synonymous with that of the entire peninsula. In 
this connexion the words of the Psalmist may be 
cited : " Wo is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that 
I dwell in the tents of Kedar." These words are 
supposed by some of the Jewish commentators to 
have been written by David, under the influence of 
inspiration, as the prophetic plaint of the Christian 
Church, labouring and groaning, as it has some 
times done, under the yoke of Mohammedan op 
pression. In Jeremiah, also, we find mention of 
Kedar. He speaks of it as " the wealthy nation 
that dwelleth without care, which have neither 
gates nor bars, which dwell alone." Ezekiel, 
moreover, prophesies conjointly of " Arabia and all 
the princes of Kedar." An allusion to Tema, the 
ninth son of Ishmael, as the name of a warlike 
people of Arabia, occurs as early as in the book oi 
Job : " The troops of Tema looked, the compa 
nies of Sheba waited for them." Lastly, the tribes 
sprung from Jetur and Naphish, the tenth and ele 
venth sons of Ishmael, are commemorated in the 
first book of Chronicles, who are there called Ha- 
garites, from Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, and 


of whom a hundred thousand males were taken 

When to this muss of Scripture evidence of the 
descent of the Arabs from Ishmael we add the ac 
knowledged coincidence hctwrcn the national cha 
racter of this people in every age, and the predicted 
personal character of their progenitor " And he 
will be a wild man ; his hand will be against ev< 
man, and every man s hand against him" and the 
fact, that the Uhmaelitith origin of the Arabs has 
ever been tin- mstant and unvarying tradition of 
that people themselves, the sul>j< ircely admits 

of a more irrefragable proof. There are certainly 
few landmarks of history more universal or more 
permanent than the names of countries affixed by 
original settlers, or flowing from tin in, and we may 
as justly question the derivation of llimirary from 
the Huns, France from the Franks, Turkey from the 
Turks, or Judeu from Judah and the Jews, as those 
of the several districts of Arabia from the respective 
sons of Ishmael. * 

* The argument in thi.^ chapter is condensed from a more ample dis 
cussion of the subject in the Appendix to " Forster s Manometanisro 




Birth and Parentage of Mohammed Loses his Parents in early Child 
hood Is placed under the care of his uncle Abu Taleb Goes into 
Syria on a trading expedition with his uncle at the age of thirteen 
Enters the service of Cadijah,aividow of Mecca, whom he afterward 

MOHAMMED, the Legislator of Arabia, the Founder 
of the Moslem or Mohammedan religion, and 
thence dignified by himself and by his followers 
with the title of Prophet and Apostle of God, was 
born at Mecca, a city of Arabia, A. D. 569.* His 
lineage, notwithstanding that many of the earlier 
Christian writers, under the influence of inveterate 
prejudice against the prophet and his religion, have 
represented his origin as base and ignoble, is clearly 
shown to have been honourable and illustrious ; at 
least, when rated by the common standard of dis 
tinction among his countrymen. The ancient Ara 
bians, deriving their pedigree from Ishmael, and 
inheriting the nomadic habits of their ancestor, had 
from time immemorial been divided into a number 
of separate independent tribes, roving at large over 
the immense sandy regions of which their country 
is composed, except where here and there a few 
thousands of them were gathered into cities, and 
engaged in merchandise. Some of these tribes, 

* Other authorities place his birth, in A. D. 571, The precise year can- 
notjfe determined with certainty. 


from various causes, were more numerous, power 
ful, and renowned than others. That of Koreish. 
from the founder of which Mohammed was in a di 
rect line descended, had lonir been accounted tlie 
most noble of them all, and his ancestors, for se 
veral generations, had ranked amonr the princes of 
Mecca, and the keepers ot thekeysof the Caaba,* its 
sacred temple. Ills lather s name was Abdallah, 
one of the thirteen sons of Abdol Motalleb, the 
chief personage in his day among the Koreish, and 
inheriting from his father Hashem the principal 
place in the government of Mecca, and succeeding w- 
him in the custody of the Caaba. This llashem, 
the great-grandfather of Mohammed, was the most 
distinguished name in all the line of his predeces 
sors, and from him not only is the appellation of 
Hashemites bestowed upon the kindred of the pro 
phet, but even to this day, the chief magistrate, 
both at Mecca and Medina, who must always be 
of the race of Mohammed, is invariably styled 
" The Prince of the Hashemites." The name of 
Mohammed s mother was Amina, whose parentage 
was traceable also to a distinguished family of the 
same tribe. Her lot was envied in gaining the hand 
of the son of Abdol Motalleb, as the surpassing 
beauty of his person is said to have ravished the 
hearts of a hundred maidens of Arabia, who were 
left, by his choice of Amina, to sigh over the wreck 
of their fondest hopes. 

Abdallah, though the son of a rich and princely 

* See Appendix B. 


father, was possessed of but little wealth, and as he 
died while his son was an infant, or, as some say, 
before he was born, it is probable that that little 
was seized with the characteristic rapacity bf the 
Arabs, and shared among his twelve surviving bro 
thers, the powerful uncles of Mohammed. Al 
though the laws of the Koran, in respect to inherit 
ances, promulgated by the prophet himself, breathe 
more of the spirit of equity and kindness ; yet the 
pagan Arabs, previous to his time, as we learn from 
Eastern writers, were wont to treat widows and or 
phans with great injustice, frequently denying them 
any share in the inheritances of thefr fathers and 
husbands, under the pretence that it ought to be dis 
tributed among those only who were able to bear 
arms, and disposing of widows, even against their 
own consent, as a part of their husband s posses 
sions. The fatherless Mohammed, accordingly, 
faring like the rest of his countrymen, received, in 
the distribution of the patrimony, no more than five 
camels and an Ethiopian female slave. 

The Moslem writers, in order to represent the 
birth of their pretended prophet as equally marvel 
lous with that of Moses or of Christ, the ancient 
messengers of God who preceded him, have re 
ported a tissue of astonishing prodigies said to have 
occurred in connexion with that event. If the 
reader will receive their statements with the same 
implicit faith with which they seem to be delivered, 
he must acknowledge, that at the moment when the 
favoured infant was ushered into the world, a flood 
of light burst forth with him and illuminated every 


part of Syria ; that the waters of the Lake Sawa 
were entirely dried up, so that a city was built upon 
its bottom; that an earthquake threw down four 
teen towers of the king of Persia s palace ; that 
the sacred fire of the Persians was extinguished, 
and all the evil spirits which had inhabited the moon 
and stars were expelled together from their celes 
tial abodes, nor could they ever after animate idols 
or deliver oracles on earth. The child also, if we 
may trust to the same authorities, discovered the 
most wonderful presag< He was no sooner born 
than he fell prostrate, in a posture of humble ado 
ration, praying devoutly to his Creator, and saying, 
" God is great ! There is no God but God, and I am 
his prophet !" By these and many other superna 
tural signs, equally astounding, is the prophet s na 
tivity said to have been marked. To some of them 
it would indeed appear that the earlier Christians 
gave an honest credence ; with this difference, how 
ever, between their belief and that of his followers, 
that while the latter ascribed them without hesita 
tion to the hand of God, giving in this manner a 
gracious attestation to the prophetic character of 
his servant, the former referred them directly to the 
agency of the devil, who might naturally be sup 
posed, they thought, to w r ork some special won 
ders on the present occasion. Urjnn t*w narrative 
of these miraculous phenomena the reader will form 
^IFp^rrjuoVrnent. They are mentioned in the ab 
sence ofaiFauthentic information touching the pe 
riod and the event in question. Until the facts al 
leged a e proved, by competent historical testi- 


mony, to -have taken place, it is scarcely necessary 
to call in the aid of divine or diabolical agency to 
account for them ; as it is much easier to imagine 
that an imposition or illusion may have been prac 
tised upon the first reporters, or that the whole ca 
talogue of wonders is a mere fabrication of inte 
rested partisans, than that the ordinary course of 
nature should have been disturbed at this crisis, i 

The Arabic biographers of the prophet, more 
over, inform us that Abdol Motalleb, his grandfa 
ther, the seventh day after the birth of the child* 
gave a great entertainment, to which he invited the 
principal men of the Koreish, who, after the repast 
was over, desired him to give the infant a name. 
Abdol Motalleb immediately replied " I name this 
child Mohammed." The Koreish grandees at once 
expressed their surprise that he did not cali his 
grandson, according to custom, by a name which 
had belonged to some one of the family. But he 
persisted in the selection he had made, saying, 
"May the Most High glorify in Heaven him 
whom he has created on earth !" alluding to the 
name Mohammed, which signifies praised or glo 

At the early age of two years Mohammed lost 
his father ; and four years after, his mother. The 
helpless orphan, now cast upon the kindness of his 
relations, was taken into the house and family of 
his grandfather, under whose guardian care he re 
mained but two years, when the venerable Motalleb 
himself was also called to pay the debt of nature. 
In a dying charge, he confided this tender plant of 


the ;uiri( ut siock of the Koreish to the faithful hands 
of Aim Taleh, tlie eldest of his sons and the suc 
cessor of his authority. M Aly dearest, best beloved 
son" -thus history or tradition reports the tenor of- 
his instruction - l< to thy charge I leave Moham 
med, the son of thine own brother, strictly recom 
mended, whose natural lather the Lord hath been 
pleased to take to himself, with the intent that this 
dear child should become ours by adoption ; and 
much dearer ought he to be unto us than merely an 
adopted son. deceive him, therefore, at my dying 
hands, with the same sincere love and tender how- 
els with which I deliver him to thy care. Honour, 
love, and cherish him as much, or even more than 
if he had sprung from thine own loins ; for all the 
honour thou showest unto him shall be trebled unto 
thee. Be more than ordinarily careful in thy 
treatment towards him, for it will be repaid thee 
with interest. Give him the preference before thine 
own children, for he exceedeth them and all man 
kind in excellency and perfection. Take notice, 
that whensoever he calleth upon thee, thou answer 
him not as an infant, as his tender age may re 
quire, but as thou wouldst reply to the most aged 
and venerable person when he askcth thee any 
question. Sit not down to thy repasts of any sort 
soever, either alone or in company, till thy worthy 
nephew Mohammed is seated at the table before 
thee ; neither do thou ever offer to taste of any 
kind of viands, or even to .stretch forth thine hand 
towards the same, until he hath tasted thereof. If 
thou observes! these my injunctions, thy goods 



shall always increase, and in nowise be dimi 

Whether Abu Taleb recognised in the deposite 
thus solemnly committed to his trust an object of 
such high destiny and such profound veneration as 
his father s language would imply, we are not in 
formed ; but there is good evidence that he acted 
towards his nephew the part of a kind friend and 
protector, giving him an education, scanty indeed, 
but equal to that usually received by his country 
men. His followers, it is true, in order to magnify 
their prophet s supernatural gifts, and render the 
composition of the Koran a greater miracle, gene 
rally affirm that he was wholly illiterate, neither 
able to read or write. In this, indeed, they are au 
thorized by the pretensions of Mohammed himself, 
who says, "Thus have we sent down the book 
of the Koran unto thee. Thou couldst not read 
any book before this ; neither couldst thou write 
it with thy right hand : then had the gains ay ers 
justly doubted of the divine original thereof."! 
"Believe, therefore, in God and his apostle, the 
illiterate prophet.";); But in the Koran, a complete 
fabric of imposture, the last thing we are to expect 
is an honest adherence to truth. There is abun 
dant evidence, from the pages of this spurious re 
velation itself, that writing was an art in common 
use among the Arabs at that time. The following 
precept concerning bonds puts it beyond question. 

* Morgan s Mahometanism Explained, vol. i. p. 50 
f Koran, ch. xxix. i Ch. vii. 


" O, true bcliovors, when ye bind yourselves one to 
the other in a <le!>t lor a certain time, write it down ; 
and let a writer write between you according to 
justice, and let not the writer refuse writing ac 
cording to what God hath taught him." \Ve learn 
also that Ali Taleb, the son of Abu Taleb, and 
cousin of Mohammed, with whom the prophet 
passed his childhood, afterward became one of 
his scribes, of whom he had a number employed 
in making copies of the Koran as its successive 
portions were revealed to him. How did it happen 
that Abu Taleb should have had his son instructed 
in writing, and not his nephew ? The city of Mecca, 
moreover, being a place of traffic, the merchants 
must have hourly felt the want of some mode 
of recording their transactions ; and as we are in 
formed that Mohammed himself was for several 
years engaged in mercantile pursuits before he 
commenced the propagation of a new religion, it 
is scarcely supposable that he was unacquainted 
with the use of letters. 

Of the infancy, childhood, and youth of the fu-tf 
ture prophet no authentic details have reached us. J 
The blank has indeed been copiously supplied by 
the fabulous legends of his votaries, but as they are 
utterly void of authority, they will not repay the 
trouble of transcription. Being destined by his 
uncle to the profession of a merchant, he was taken, 
as some affirm, at the age of thirteen, into Syria with 
Abu Taleb s trading caravan, in order to his being 
perfected in the business of his intended vocation. 
Upon the simple circumstance of this journey, the 


superstition of his followers has grafted a series of 
miraculous omens all portending his future greatness. 
Among other things, it is said by his historians, that 
upon his arriving at Bozrah, a certain man named 
Boheira, a Nestorian monk, who is thought by Pri- 
deaux to be otherwise called Sergius, advanced 
through the crowd collected in the market-place, 
and, seizing him by the hand, exclaimed, "There 
will be something wonderful in this boy ; for when 
he approached he appeared covered with a cloud." 
He is said to have affirmed also, that the dry trees 
under which he sat were every where instantly 
covered with green leaves, which served him for 
a shade, and that the mystic seal of prophecy was 
impressed between his shoulders, in the form of a 
small luminous excrescence. According to others, 
instead of a bright cloud being the criterion by 
which his subsequent divine mission was indicated, 
the mark by which Boheira knew him was the 
prophetic light which shone upon his face. This 
miraculous light, according to the traditions of the 
Mohammedans, was first placed upon Adam, and 
from him transmitted to each individual in the line 
of his descendants, who sustained the character of 
a true prophet. The hallowed radiance at length 
rested upon the head of Abraham, from whom it 
*was divided into a twofold emanation, the greater 
or clearer descending upon Isaac and his seed, the 
less or obscurer to Ishmael and his posterity. 
The light in the family of Isaac is represented as 
having been perpetuated in a constant glow through 
a long line of inspired messengers and prophets, 


among the children of Israel ; but that in the fa 
mily of Ishmael is said to have been suppressed, 
and to have lain hidden through the whole tract of 
ages, from Ishmael down to the coming of Mo 
hammed, in whom the sacred symbol was again re 
vived, and now pointed out to Boheira the high des 
tiny of him on whose person it appeared. How 
ever intrinsically vain and visionary this legend may 
be deemed, it may, nevertheless, be worth advert 
ing to, as affording perhaps, in its remoter sources, 
a hint of the origin of the ha Zo, which in most of 
the paintings or engravings of the Saviour is made 
to encircle his sacred brows. 

When Abu Taleb was about to return with his 
caravan to Mecca, Boheira, it is said, again re 
peated his solemn premonition, coupled with a 
charge, respecting the extraordinary youth. " De 
part with tliis child, and take great care that he 
does not fall into the hands of the Je\vs ; for your 
nephew will one day become a very wonderful 

The early Christian writers have laid hold of 
the narrative of this interview with the Syrian 
monk, as affording a clew to the true origin and 
authorship of the Koran. According to them, this 
Boheira, alias Sergius, who, they say, was an apos 
tate Jew or Christian, instructed Mohammed in the 
histories and doctrines of the Bible, and that they 
in concert laid a plan for creating a new religion, 
a motley compound of Judaism and Christianity, to 
be carried into execution twenty years afterward ; 
and that accordingly the monk, rather than Mo- 



hammed, is entitled to the credit of the most im 
portant parts of the Koran. Others again, deem 
ing it altogether incredible that a youth of thirteen 
should have conceived the vast idea of forming 
and propagating a new religion, place this corres 
pondence with Sergius at a later period of his life ; 
that is to say, when he was not far from twenty 
years of age, at which time he is alleged to have 
taken a second journey into Syria. But, as we 
shall see hereafter, the question how far Moham 
med was assisted by others in the composition of 
the Koran is not susceptible at the present day of 
a satisfactory solution. 

The next remarkable event in the life of Mo 
hammed is his appearance in the character of a 
soldier. At the age of fourteen, or, as others say, 
nearer the age of twenty, he served under his 
uncle, who commanded the troops of his tribe, the 
Koreish, in their wars against the rival tribes of 
the Kenan and the Hawazan. They returned 
from the expedition victorious, and this circum 
stance doubtless tended to render the people of the 
tribe still more devoted to the uncle and the ne 
phew, and to acquire for Mohammed a notoriety 
which he was afterward enabled to turn essentially 
to his account. 

From this time to the age of twenty-five he ap 
pears to have continued in the employ of Abu 
Taleb, engaged in mercantile pursuits. As he 
advanced in years there is reason to believe that 
his personal endowments, which were doubtless of 
a superior order, together with strong native powers 


of intellect, an acute observation, a ready wit, and 
pleasing address combined to render him both 
popular and prominent among his associa 
Such, at least, is the concurrent testimony of all 
his biographers, and we have no means of invali 
dating their statements. It is, however, natural 
to suppose, that a strong colouring would be put 
upon every superior quality of a pretended n; 
senger of God, sent to restore the true religion to 
the world, and that he, who was by character i 1 . 
prophet, should be represented by his adherents 
as a paragon of all external perfections. About 
this period, by the assistance of his uncle, he v 
entered into the service of a rich trading widow of 
his native city, who had been twice married, and 
whose name was CADIJAH. In the capacity of 
factor or agent to this his wealthy employer, he took 
a second journey of three years into Damascus 
and the neighbouring regions of Syria, in which he 
devoted himself so assiduously to the interests of 
Cadijah, and managed the trust committed to him 
so entirely to her satisfaction, that upon his return 
she rewarded his fidelity with the gift of her hand 
and her fortune. It may be imagined, that in 
entering into this alliance, she was probably in 
fluenced by the family connexions and the personal 
attractions of her suitor. But whatever were 
her motives, the union subsequently appears to 
have been one of genuine affection on both sides ; 
Mohammed never forgot the favours he had re 
ceived from his benefactress, and never made her 
repent of having placed her person and her for- 


tune at his absolute disposal. Although Cadijah, 
at the time of her marriage, was forty, and Mo 
hammed not more than twenty-eight, yet till the 
age of sixty-four, when she died, she enjoyed the 
undivided affection of her husband; and that too 
in a country where polygamy was allowed, and 
very frequently practised. By her he had eight 
children, of whom Fatima alone, his eldest daugh 
ter, survived him. And such was the prophet s 
respect to the memory of his wife, that after her 
death he placed her in the rank of the four per 
fect women, 



Mohammed forms the design of ;> t ,,n upon \ 

world Diifn nit to tirruimt f r t 
suggested Retires to the < 
Visits of Gabriel with a porl/ 
vert His slow progress in g 

BEING now raised by his marriage to an equality 
with the first citizens of Mecca, Mohanum <! \\ 
enabled to pass the next twelve years of his life 
in comparative affluence and ease; and, until t! 
age of forty, nothing remarkable distinguished t 1 
history of the future prophet. It is probable that 
he still followed the occupation of a merchant, ; 
the Arabian nation, like their ancestors the Ish- 
maelites, have always been greatly addicted to 
commerce. It was during tins interval, however, 
that he meditated and matured the bold design of 
palming a new religion upon the world. This there 
fore becomes, in its resuiis. the most imj ut 
period in his whole life; and it is greatly to be 
regretted, that the policy of the impostor, and the 
ravages of time, have deprived us of all sources of 
information, which might afford a satisfactory clew 
to the real origin of this design. The circum 
stances which first suggested it, the peculiar train of 
reflection which went to cherish it, the ends which 
be proposed to accomplish by it, together with the 
real agencies employed in bringing it forward, are 


all matters wrapped in impenetrable mystery; yet 
these are the very points on which the inquiring 
mind, intent upon tracing great events to their pri 
mary sources, is most eager for information. At 
the present day, it is impossible to determine whe 
ther Mohammed commenced his career as a de 
luded enthusiast or a designing impostor. Those 
who have most profoundly considered the whole 
subject of Mohammedanism in its rise, progress, 
genius, and effects, are, on this point, divided in 
their opinion. 

On the one hand, it is supposed by some, that 
Mohammed was constitutionally addicted to reli 
gious contemplation that his native temperament 
was strongly tinged with enthusiasm and that he 
might originally have been free from any sinister 
motive in giving scope to the innate propensities 
of his character. As the result of his retired spe 
culations he might, moreover, it is said, have been 
sincerely persuaded in his own mind of the grand 
article of his faith, the unity of God, which in his 
opinion was violated by all the rest of the world, 
and, therefore, might have deemed it a meritorious 
work to endeavour to liberate his countrymen and 
his race from the bondage of error. Impelled by 
this motive in the outset, and being aided by a 
warm imagination, he might at length have come, 
it is affirmed, as enthusiasts have often done, to 
the firm conviction, that he was destined by Pro 
vidence to be the instrument of a great and glo 
rious reformation; and the circumstance of his 
being accustomed to solitary retirement would na- 


turally cause this persuasion to take a deeper root 
in his mind. In this manner, it is supposed, his 
career might have commenced; hut liiidinir himself 
to have succeeded beyond his expectations, and 
the force of temptation growing with the increase 
of his popularity and power, his self-love at last 
overpowered his honesty, ambition took the pluee 
of devotion, his designs expanded with his success, 
and he who had entered upon a pious enterpi 
as a well-meaning reformer degenerated in the end 
into a wilful impostor, a gross debauchee, and an 
unprincipled despot. 

On the other hand, it is maintained, and we 
think with more of an air of probability, that his 
conduct from the very first bears the marks of a 
deep-laid and systematic design ; that although he 
might not have anticipated all the results whicli 
crowned the undertaking, yet hi every step of his 
progress he acted with a shrewdness and circum 
spection very little savouring of the dreams of en 
thusiasm ; that the pretended visits of an angel, and 
his publishing, from time to time, the chapters of 
the Koran, as a divine revelation, are wholly incon 
sistent with the idea of his being merely a deluded 
fanatic ; and that, at any rate, the discovery of his 
inability to work a miracle, the grand voucher of 
a divine messenger, must have been sufficient to 
dispel the fond illusion from his mind. 

Many circumstances, moreover, it is said, may 
be adduced, which might have concurred to prompt 
and favour the design of this arch imposture. 
1. Mohammed s genius was bold and aspiring. 


His family had formerly held the ascendency in 
rank and power in the city of Mecca, and it was 
merely his misfortune in having lost his father in 
infancy, and being left an orphan, that prevented 
him from succeeding to the same, distinction. It 
was therefore the dictate of a very obvious prin 
ciple of human nature, that he should contrive, if 
possible, to make the fortune and influence ac 
quired by his marriage a step to still higher ho 
nours, and to raise himself to the ancient dignity 
of his house. 2. He had travelled much in his 
own and foreign countries. His journeys would 
of course bring him acquainted with the tenets of 
the different sects of the religious world, particu 
larly the Jewish and the Christian, which were 
then predominant, and the latter greatly corrupted 
and torn to pieces with internal dissensions. Be 
ing a sagacious observer of men, he could not fail 
to pc-rceive that the distracted state of the exist 
ing religions had put the Eastern world into a 
posture extremely favourable to the propagation 
of a new system. His own countrymen, the 
people of Arabia, were, indeed, for the most part 
sunk in idolatry, but the vestiges of a purer faith, 
derived from patriarchal times, were still lingering 
arnon^ them, to a degree that afforded him the 
hope of recovering them to a sounder creed. 3. 
The political state of things at that time was such 
as signally to favour his project. The Roman 
empire, on the one hand, and the Persian monarchy 
on the other, had both become exceedingly en 
feebled in the process of a long decline, towards 


the last stages of which they were now rapidly 
approaching. The Arabs, on the contrary, were 
a strong and floiirishinir people, abounding in num 
bers, and inured to hardships. Their bein<r divided 
into independent tribes presented also advantag. 
for the spread of a new faith which v.mild not 
have existed had they been consolidated into one 
government. As Mohammed had considerable op 
portunities to acquaint himself with the peculiar 
situation af these empires ; as he had carefully noted 
the genius and disposition of the people which com 
posed them; and as he possessed a capacity to 
render every circumstance subservient to his pur 
pose, it is contended, that his scheme was much 
more legitimately the fruit of policy than of piety, 
and that the pseudo-prophet, instead of be in ir pitied 
for his delusion, is rather to be reprobated for his 
base fabrication. 

After all, it is not improbable that Infinite Wis 
dom has so ordered it, that a veil of unpenetrated 
darkness should rest on the motives of the impos 
tor, in order that a special providence may be re 
cognised in the rise and establishment of this arch- 
delusion in the world. In the absence of sufficient 
human causes to account for the phenomena, we 
are more readily induced to acknowledge a divine 
interposition. In the production of events which 
are overruled in the government of God to operate 
as penal evils for the punishment of the guilty, 
reason and revelation both teach us reverently to 
acknowledge the visitation of the Divine Hand, 
whoever or whatever may have been the subordi- 



nate agents, or their motives. " Is there evil in 
the city, saith the Lord, and I have not done it ?" 
i. e. the evil of suffering, not of sin. It cannot be 
doubted that, as a matter of fact, the rise and reign 
of Mohammedanism has resulted in the infliction 
of a most terrible scourge upon the apostate 
churches in the East, and in other portions of 
Christendom ; and, unless we exclude the Judge of 
the world from the exercise of his judicial prero- 
gatives in dealing with his creatures, we cannot err, 
provided we do not infringe upon man s moral 
agency, in referring the organ of chastisement to 
the will of the Most High. The life and actions 
of Mohammed himself, and his first broaching the 
religion of the Koran, are but the incipient links in 
a chain of political revolutions, equtil in magnitude 
and importance to any which appear on the page 
of history revolutions, from which it would be 
downright impiety to remove all idea of providential 
ordainment. If then we acknowledge a peculiar 
providence in the astonishing success of the Sara 
cen arms subsequent to the death of Mohammed, 
we must acknowledge it also in the origination of 
that system of religion which brought them under 
one head, and inspired them to the achievement of 
such a rapid and splendid series of conquests. 

The pretended prophet, having at length, after 
years of deliberation, ripened all his plans, pro 
ceeded in the most gradual and cautious manner to 
put them in execution. He had been, it seems, for 
some time in the habit of retiring daily to a certain 
cave in the vicinity of Mecca, called the cave of 


Hera, for the ostensible purpose of spending his 
time in fasting, prayer, and holy meditation. The 
important crisis having now arrived, he heiran to 
break to his wile, on his return home in the ev< - 
ning, the solemn intelligence ipernatural visions 
and voices with which lie was favoured in li 
tirement. Cadijah, as miirht be expertrd, was at 
first incredulous. She treated his visions as ihe 
dreams of a disturbed imagination, or as the delu 
sions of the devil.* Mohammed, however, \ 
sisted in assuring her of the reality of these com 
munications, and rising still higher in his demands 
upon her credulity, at length repeated a pass; 
which he affirmed to be a part of a divine revela 
tion, recently conveyed to him by the ministry of 
the angel Gabriel. The memorable nio-ht on 
which this visit was made by the heavenly mes 
senger is called the " night of Al Kadr," or the 
night of the divine decree, and is greatly celebrated, 
as it was the same night on which the entire KORAN 
descended from the seventh to the lowest heaven, 
to be thence revealed by Gabriel in successive por 
tions as occasion might require. The Koran has 
a whole chapter devoted to the commemoration of 
this event, entitled Al Kadr. It is as follows : 
" In the name of the most merciful God. Verily, 
we sent down the Koran in the night of Al Kadr. 
And what shall make thee understand how excel 
lent the night of Al Kadr is ? This night is better 
than a thousand months. Therein do the angels 

* This is the account given by Prideaux. Sale, however, says, 
" I do not remember to have read in any Eastern author, that Cadijah 
ever rejected her husband s pretences as delusions, or suspected him of 
any imposture." Prelim. Ihsc. p. 58* note. 


descend, and the spirit Gabriel also, by the per 
mission of their Lord, with his decrees concerning 
every matter. It is peace until the rising of the 
morn."* On this favoured night, between the 23d 
and 24th of Ramadan, according to the prophet, the 
angel appeared to him, in glorious form, to commu 
nicate the happy tidings of his mission. The light 
issuing from his body, if the apostle-elect may be 
believed, was too dazzling for mortal eyes to be 
hold ; he fainted under the splendour ; nor was it 
till Gabriel had assumed a human form, that he 
could venture to approach or look upon him. The 
angel then cried aloud, " O MOHAMMED, THOU ART 


GABRIEL !" " Read !" continued the angel ; the 
.prophet declared that he was unable to read. 
" Read I" Gabriel again exclaimed, " read, in the 
name of thy Lord, who hath created all things ; 
who hath created man of congealed blood. Read, 
by thy most beneficent Lord, who hath taught the 
use of the pen ; who teacheth man that which he 
knoweth not."f The prophet, who professed 
hitherto to have been illiterate, then read the joy 
ful tidings respecting his ministry on earth, when 
the angel, having accomplished his mission, majes 
tically ascended to heaven, and disappeared from 
his view. When the story of this surprising inter 
view with a celestial visitant was related to Cadijah 
in connexion with the passage repeated, her un 
belief, as tradition avers, was wholly overcome, 
and not only so, but she was wrought by it into a 
kind of ecstasy, declaring, " By Him in whose 

*_Koran, ch xcvii. t Ch. xcviii. 


hands her soul was, that she trusted her husband 
would indeed one day become the prophet of his 
nation." In the height of her joy she immediately 
imparted what she had heard to one Waraka, her 
cousin, who is supposed by some to have been in 
the secret, and who, being a Christian, had learned 
to write in the Hebrew character, and was tole 
rably well versed in the Jewish and Christian 
Scriptures. He unhesitatingly assented to her 
opinion respecting the divine designation of her 
husband, and even affirmed, that Mohammed was 
no other than the great prophet foretold by Moses, 
the son of Amram. This belief that both the pro 
phet and his spurious religion were subjects of in 
spired prediction in the Old Testament Scriptures, 
is studiously inculcated in the Koran. " Thy 
Lord is the mighty, the merciful. This book is 
certainly a revelation from the Lord of all crea 
tures, which the faithful spirit (Gabriel) hath caused 
to descend upon thy heart, that thou mightest be a 
preacher to thy people in the perspicuous Arabic 
tongue ; and it is borne witness to in the Scriptures 
of former ages. Was it not a sign unto them that 
the wise men among the children of Israel knew 

Having succeeded in gaining over his wife, he 
persevered in that retired and austere kind of life 
which tends to beget the reputation of pre-eminent 
sanctity, and ere long had his servant, Zeid Ebn 
Hareth, added to the list of proselytes. He re 
warded the faith of Zeid by manumitting him from 

* Koran, ch. xxiii. 

E 2 


servitude, and it has hence become a standing rule 
among his followers always to grant their freedom 
to such of their slaves as embrace the religion of 
the prophet. Ali, the son of Abu Taleb, Moham 
med s cousin, was his next convert, but the impe 
tuous youth, disregarding the other two as persons 
of comparatively little note, used to style himself 
the first of believers. His fourth and most import 
ant convert was Abubeker, a powerful citizen of 
Mecca, by whose influence a number of persons 
possessed of rank and authority were induced to 
profess the religion of Islam. These were Oth- 
man, Zobair, Saad, Abdorrahman, and Abu Obei- 
dah, who afterward became the principal leaders 
in his armies, and his main instruments in the 
establishment both of his imposture and of his 
empire. Four years were spent in the arduous 
task of winning over these nine individuals to the 
faith, some of whom were the principal men of 
the city, and who composed the whole party of 
his proselytes previously to his beginning to pro 
claim his mission in public. He was now forty- 
four years of age. 

It has been remarked, as somewhat of a striking 
coincidence, that the period of Mohammed s retiring 
to the cave of Hera- for the purpose of fabricating 
his imposture corresponds very nearly with the 
time in which Boniface, bishop of Rome, by virtue 
of a grant from the tyrant Phocas, first assumed 
the title of Universal Pastor, and began to lay 
claim to that spiritual supremacy over the church 
of Chi 1st, which has ever since been arrogated to 
themselves by his successors, " And from this 


time," says Prideaux, " both he (the bishop of 
Rome) and Mohammed having conspired to found 
themselves an empire in imposture, their followers 
have been ever since endeavouring by the same 
methods, that is, those of fire and sword, to pro 
pagate it among mankind ; so that Antichrist seems 
at this time to have set both his feet upon Christen 
dom together ; the one hi the East, the other in 
the West, and how much each hath trampled upon 
the church of Christ, all succeeding ages have 
abundantly experienced." The agreement of dates 
here adverted to may be worth noticing; both 
events having occurred within the first six or eight 
years of the seventh century ; but we have as yet 
met with no evidence to convince us of the pro 
priety of applying the epithet Antichrist to Mo 
hammed. It is, however, the opinion of many 
Protestant expositors of prophecy, that this appel 
lation is properly attributable to that system of 
ecclesiastical domination so long exercised by the 
Romish hierarchy, and the continuance of which, 
it is maintained, is limited by the prophetic term 
of 1260 years. If, therefore, this predicted period, 
assigned to the reign of the Roman Antichrist, be 
dated from near the commencement of the seventh 
century, we are not very far from the era of great 
moral changes in the state of the world ; and 
there are reasons to be adduced in a subsequent 
part of this work, which lead us to believe, that 
the career of Mohammedanism runs parallel to 
that of Popery, and that, taking their rise from 
nearly a common era, they are destined also to 
synchronise in their fall. 


CHAPTER IV. ,. } v 

The Prophet announces his Mission among his kindred c/ the Koreish 
Meets with a harsh repulse Begins to declare it in public View 
of his fundamental Doctrines His pretensions respecting the Ko 
ran. The disdainful Rejection of his Message by his fellow-citizens 
His consequent Denunciations against them. 

THE mission of Mohammed had hitherto been 
conducted in private. The proselytes he had thus 
far gained had been won over from among the 
circle of his immediate friends and connexions. 
The time had now come, he affirmed, when the 
Lord commanded him to make his message pub 
licly known, beginning with his kindred of the 
tribe of Koreish. " O thou covered, arise and 
preach, and magnify thy Lord."* " And admonish 
thy more near relations."! To this end he directed 
AH to prepare a generous entertainment, and in 
vite to it the sons and descendants of Abdol Mo- 
talleb, where, when they were all convened, he 
would formally divulge to them the solemn fact of 
his apostolic commission. Some disturbance, oc 
casioned by Abu Laheb, caused the company to 
break up before he had an opportunity of effecting 
his purpose, which induced him to give them a se 
cond invitation on the ensuing day. About forty 
of them accordingly assembled around his board, 
when the prophet arose, and thus addressed his 

* Koran, ch. Ixxiv. t Ch. xxvi. 


wondering guests : " I know no man in the whole 
peninsula of the Arabs who can propose any thing 
more excellent to his relations than what I now do 
to you ; I offer you happiness both in this life and 
in that which is to come ; God Almighty hath com 
manded me to call you unto him ; who therefore 
among you will be my vizier (assistant), and will 
become my brother and vicegerent?" General 
astonishment kept the assembly silent; none of 
fered to accept the proffered office till the fiery Ali 
burst forth and declared that he would be the 
brother and assistant of the prophet. " I," said 
he, " O prophet of God, will be thy vizier ; I my 
self will beat out the teeth, pull out the eyes, rip 
open the bellies, and cut off the legs, of all those 
who shall dare to oppose thee." The prophet 
caught the young proselyte in his arms, exclaim 
ing, " This is my brother, my deputy, my succes 
sor; show yourselves obedient unto him." At 
this apparently extravagant command, the whole 
company burst into laughter, telling Abu Taleb 
that he must now pay obedience and submission to 
his own son ! As words were multiplied, surprise 
began to give way to indignation, the serious pre 
tensions of the prophet were seriously resented, 
and in the issue the assembly broke up in confu 
sion, affording the ardent apostle but slender pros 
pects of success among his kinsmen. 

Undeterred by the failure of his first public at 
tempt, Mohammed began to preach still more 
openly before the people of Mecca. He an 
nounced to them that he was commissioned by the 


Almighty to be his prophet on the earth ; to assert 
the unity of the Divine Being ; to denounce the 
worship of images ; to recall the people to the 
true and only religion ; to bear the tidings of para 
dise to the believing ; and to. threaten the deaf and 
unbelieving with the terrible vengeance of the 
Lord. His main doctrine, and that which consti 
tutes the distinguishing character of the Koran is, 
that there is but one God ; that he only is to be 
worshipped ; and that all idolatry is a foul abomi 
nation, to be utterly abolished. The 112th ch. of 
the Koran, entitled " The Declaration of God s 
Unity," is held in the most profound veneration by 
the Mohammedans, and declared, by a tradition of 
the prophet, to be equal in value to a third part of 
the whole Koran. It is said to k have been re 
vealed in answer to the Koreish, who inquired of 
the apostle concerning the distinguishing attributes 
of the God whom he invited them to worship. It 
consists of a single sentence. " In the name of 
the most merciful God. Say, God is one God; 
the eternal God ; he begetteth not, neither is he 
begotten : and there is not any one like unto him." 
In the incessant repetition of this doctrine in the 
pages of the Koran, the author is aiming not only 
at the grosser errors of polytheism and idolatry, 
then common among the Eastern nations, but is 
levelling a blow also at the fundamental tenet of 
Christianity, that Jesus Christ is the son of God, 
" the only begotten of the Father." Like others 
in other ages, Mohammed could conceive of no 
mode of understanding the doctrine of the filia- 


tion of Christ, as held by Christians, which did 
not directly militate with the truth of the essential 
unity of the Most High ; and in his view the first 
born of absurdities was, to allirm in the same 
breath that Christ was the son of God, and yet 
coequal and coeternnl with the Father. The New 
Testament declarations, therefore, respecting the 
person and character of the Messiah find no mercy 
at the hands of the author of the Koran, who 
either had not the candour or the capacity to dis 
criminate beween the doctrine of the Trinity and 
that of Tri theism. " O ye who have received the 
Scriptures, exceed not the just bounds in your re 
ligion, neither say of God any other than the 
truth." i. e. either by rejecting Jesus as the Jews 
do, or by raising him to an equality with God as 
do the Christians. " Verily, Christ Jesus, the son 
of Mary, is the apostle of God, and his word, 
which he conveyed into Mary, and a spirit pro 
ceeding from him. Believe, therefore, in God and 
his apostles, and say not there are three Gods ; 
forbear this ; it will be better for you. God is 
but one God. Far be it from him that he should 
have a son ! Unto him belongeth whatsoever is in 
heaven and on earth ; and he is sufficient unto 
himself."* " They are certainly infidels who say, 
Verily, God is Christ the son of Mary. Whoever 
shall give a companion unto God, God shall ex 
clude him from paradise, and his habitation shall 
be hell-fire. They are certainly infidels who say 
God is the third of three : for there is no God be . 

* Koran, ch. iv. 


sides one God. Christ, the son of Mary, is no 
more than an apostle ; and his mother was a 
woman of veracity : they both ate food."* " There 
is no God but he : the curse be on those whom 
they associate with him in his worship."! 

With this fundamental article of the Moslem 
creed, Mohammed connected that of his being, 
since Moses and Jesus, the only true prophet of 
God. " We gave unto the children of Israel the 
book of the law, and wisdom, and prophecy ; and we 
fed them with good things, and preferred them above 
all nations : and we gave them plain ordinances 
concerning the business of religion. Afterward 
we appointed thee, O Mohammed, to promulgate 
a law concerning the business of religion : where 
fore follow the same, and follow not the desires of 
those who are ignorant." J The object of his mis 
sion, he affirmed, was not so much to deliver to the 
world an entirely new scheme of religion, as to 
restore and replant the only true and ancient faith 
professed by the patriarchs and prophets, from 
Adam down to Christ. " Thus have we revealed 
unto thee an Arabic Koran, that thou mayest warn 
the metropolis of Mecca, and the Arabs who dwell 
round about it. He hath ordained you the religion 
which he commanded Noah, and which we have 
revealed unto thee, O Mohammed, and which we 
commanded Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus ; say 
ing, Observe this religion, and be not divided there 
in. Wherefore, invite them to receive the sure 
faith, and be urgent with them as thou hast been 

* Koran, ch. v, f Ch. ix. t Ch. xtv. 


commanded." This revival and re-establishment 
of the ancient faith, he taught, was to be effected by 
purging it of the idolatrous notions of the Arabs, 
and of the corruptions of the Jews and Christians. 
For while he admits the fact that the books of the 
Old and New Testaments were originaDy written by 
inspiration, he at the same time maintains, that they 
have been since so* shamefully corrupted by their 
respective disciples, that the present copies of both 
are utterly unworthy of credit ; and therefore, he 
seldom quotes them in the Koran according to the 
received text. From the following extracts, the 
reader will perceive how unsparingly the restorer 
of the primitive faith deals forth his rebukes upon 
those who had wilfully adulterated and disfigured 
it. " O ye who have received the Seriptures, why 
do ye clothe truth with vanity, and knowingly hide 

the truth? And there are certainly some of 

them who read the Scriptures perversely, that ye 
may think what they read to be really in the Scrip 
tures, yet it is not in the Scriptures ; and they say, 
this is from God ; but it is not from God ; and they 
speak that which is false concerning God, against 
their own knowledge."* "Wherefore, because 
they have broken their covenant, wef have cursed 
them, and hardened their hearts ; they dislocate 
the words of the Pentateuch from their places, and 
have forgotten part of what they were admonished ; 

* Koran, ch. iii. 

t The reader will notice that notwithstanding Mohammed s strenuous 
rt ion of God s absolute unity, and his execrations of those who as 
cribe to him "associates," yet when he introduces him .-i tdking in live 
Konin it is usually in the plural number. 


and wilt thou not cease to discover the deceitful 
practices among them, except a few of them?" 
" O ye who have received the Scriptures, now is 
our apostle come unto you, to make manifest unto 
you many things which ye have concealed in the 

In the execution of his high behest, he declared 
himself appointed to promulge a new revelation 
in successive portions, the aggregate of which was 
to constitute the Bible of his followers. The ori 
ginal or archetype of the Koran,f he taught, was- 
laid up from everlasting in the archives of Heaven, 
being written on what he termed the preserved ta 
ble, near to the throne of God, from which the series 
of chapters communicated by Gabriel were a tran 
script. This pretended gradual mode of revelation 
was certainly a master stroke of policy in the im 
postor. " The unbelievers say, unless the Koran 
be sent down to him entire at once, we will not be 
lieve. But in this manner have w r e revealed it that 
we might confirm thy he ait thereby, and we have 
dictated it gradually by distinct parcels. "J Had 
the whole volume been published at once, so that 
a rigid examination could have been instituted into 
its contents as a whole, and the different parts 
brought into comparison with each other, glaring 
inconsistencies would have been easily detected, 
and objections urged which he would probably have 
found it impossible to answer. But by pretending 
to receive his oracles in separate portions, at dif- 

* Koran, ch. v. j See Appendix C. % Koran, ch. xxv. 


ferent times, according as his own exigences or 
those of his followers required, lie had a ready way 
of silencing all cavils, and extricating himself with 
credit from every dilliculty, as nothing forbade the 
message or mandate of to-day heing modified or 
abrogated by that, of to-morrow. In this manner, 
twenty-three years elapsed before 1 the whole chain 
of revelations was completed, though the pro])]; 
informed his disciples that he had the consolation of 
seeing the entire Koran, bound in silk and adorn, 
with ;old and gems of Paradise, once a year, till, in 
the last year of his life, he was favoured with the 
vision twice. A part of these spurious oracles were 
published at Mecca before his flight, the remainder 
at Medina after it. The particular mode of publica 
tion is said to have been this : When a new chap 
ter had been communicated to the prophet, and was 
about to be promulgated for the benefit of the 
world, he first dictated it to his secretary, and then 
delivered the written paper to his followers, to be 
read and repeated till it had become firmly im 
printed upon their memories, when the paper was 
again returned to the prophet, who can-fully depo 
sited it in a chest, called by him " the chest of 
his apostleship." The hint of this sacred coffer 
was doubtless taken from the Ark of the Covenant, 
the holy chest of the Jewish tabernacle, in which 
the authentic copy of the law was laid up and pre 
served. This chest Mohammed left at his death 
in the care of one of his wives ; and from its con 
tents the volume of the Koran was afterward com 
piled. The first collection and arrangement of 


these prophetic relios, more precious than the scat 
tered leaves of all the Sybils, was made by Abu- 
beker, but the whole was afterward revised and 
new-modelled by Othman, who left the entire vo 
lume of the Koran in the order in which we now 
have it. 

Mohammed s first reception by the mass of his 
fellow-citizens of Mecca was scarcely more hope 
ful than it had been among his kindred. His al 
leged divine messages, especially when they as 
sumed a tone of reprehension and reproach towards 
his countrymen, for their idolatry, obstinacy, and 
perverseness, were met with indignant scoffs and 
railings. Some called him a magician and a sor 
cerer ; others, a silly retailer of old fables ; and 
others directly charged him with being a liar and 
an impostor. The reader will be amused and in 
terested by the insertion of a few out of the scores 
of allusions, with which the Koran abounds, to the 
profane and contemptuous treatment shown to 
wards the prophet at this time. - " The Meccans 
say, O thou, to whom the admonition (the Koran) 
hath been sent down, thou art certainly possessed 
with a devil : wouldst not thou have come unto 
us with an attendance of angels if thou hadst 
spoken the truth ? Answer, We send not down the 
angels but on a just occasion."* " Verily I have 
permitted these Meccans and their fathers to live 
in prosperity, till the truth should come unto them, 
and a manifest apostle : but now the truth is come 

* Koran, ch. vi. 


unto them, they say, this is a piece of sorcery ; 
and we believe not therein. And they say, Had 
this Koran been sent down unto some great man 
in either of die two cities, we would have received 
it." " The time of giving up their account drawcth 
nigh unto the people of Mecca. No admonition 
cometh unto them from their Lord, but when they 
hear it they turn it to sport. They say, The Ko 
ran is a confused heap of dreams: nay, he hath 
forged it."f " And the unbelievers say, this Koran 
is no other than a forgery which he hath contrived ; 
and other people have assisted him therein : but 
they utter an unjust thing and a falsehood. They 
also say, These are fables of the ancients, which he 
hath caused to be written down ; and they are dic 
tated unto him morning and evening. Say, He 
hath revealed it who knoweth the secrets in hea 
ven and earth. And they say, What kind of apostle 
is this ? He eateth food, and walketh in the streets 
as we do. The ungodly also say, Ye follow no 
other than a man who is distracted. "{ " When our 
evident signs are rehearsed unto them, the unbe 
lievers say of the truth, This is a manifest piece of 
sorcery. Will they say, Mohammed hath forged 
it? Answer, If I have forged it, verily, ye will 
not obtain for me any favour from God : he well 
knoweth the injurious language which ye utter 

concerning it. 1 follow no other than what is 

revealed unto me ; neither am I any more than a 
public warner."^ 

* Koran, ch. xliii. | Ch. xxi. J Ch. xxv. $ Ch. xlvi. 

F 2 


But these stiff-necked idolaters were plainly 
taught that they were not to promise themselves 
impunity in thus pouring contempt upon the testi 
mony of an authorized legate of heaven. The 
Most High himself was brought in confirming by 
an oath the truth of his prophet s mission. " I 
swear by that which ye see and that which ye see 

not, that this is the discourse of an honourable 


apostle, and not the discourse of a poet: how 
little do ye believe ! Neither is it the discourse of 
a soothsayer : how little are ye admonished ! It 
is a revelation from the Lord of all creatures. If 
Mohammed had forged any part of these dis 
courses concerning us, verily we had taken him 
by the right hand, and had cut in sunder the vein 
of his heart ; neither would we have withheld any 
of you from chastising him. And verily, this book 
is an admonition unto the pious ; and we well 
know there are some of you who charge the same 
with imposture : but it shall surely be an occa 
sion of grievous sighing unto the infidels ; for it is 
the truth of a certainty."* "Because he is an 
adversary to our signs, I will afflict him with 
grievous calamities ; for he hath devised contume 
lious expressions to ridicule the Koran. May 
he be cursed ! I will cast him to be burned in 
hell. And what shall make thee understand what 
hell is? It leaveth not any thing unconsumed, 
neither doth it suffer any thing to escape; it 
searcheth men s flesh ; over the same are nineteen 

* Koran, ch. Ixix 


angels appointed. We have appointed none but 
angels to preside over hell-fire."* "Verily we 
have prepared for the unbelievers chains, and col 
lars, and burning fire."t " Verily those who dis 
believe our signs we will surely cast out to be 
broiled in hell-fire : and when their skins shall be 
well burned, we will give them other skins in ex 
change, that they may taste the sharper torment.";): 

* Koran, ch. Ixxiv. t Ch. XL { Cfc. iv. 



Mohammed not discouraged by Opposition The burden of his Preach 
ing Description of Paradise Error to suppose Women excluded 
Of Hell Gains some Followers Challenged to work a Miracle 
His Reply The Koran the grand Miracle of his Religion Judicial 
Obduracy charged upon the Unbelievers. 

BUT no repulses, however rude or rebellious, 
operated to deter the prophet from prosecuting his 
apostolic ministry. No injuries or insults, how 
ever galling, availed to quench that glow of phi 
lanthropy, that earnest solicitude for the salvation 
of his countrymen, for which his divine revela 
tions plainly give him credit. " Peradventure, thou 
afflictest thyself unto death lest the Meccans be 
come not true believers."* "Verily, God will 
cause to err whom he pleaseth, and will direct 
whom he pleaseth. Let not thy soul, therefore be 
spent in sighs for their sakes, on account of their 
obstinacy ; for God well knoweth that which they 
do. r f And it must be acknowledged, that his firm 
ness at this stage of his career, in the midst of 
bitter opposition, opprobrious taunts, and relentless 
ridicule, has very much the air of having been 
prompted by a sincere though enthusiastic belief 
in the truth and rectitude of his cause. The 
scope of several chapters of the Koran promul 
gated at this time leads to the same impression. 

* Koran, ch. xxvi. t Ch, xxxv. 


They are strikingly hortatory and impassioned in 
their character, inculcating the being and perfec 
tions of the one only God, the vanity of idol^ 
future resurrection, a day of judgment, a state of 
rewards and punishments, and the necessity of 
works of righteousness. The marks of impos 
ture are much more discernible upon the pages 
subsequently revealed, in which the prophet had 
private ends of a sinister nature to accomplish. 
But he contented not himself with merely preach 
ing in public assemblies, and proclaiming in streets 
and market-places the solemn and awakening 
burden of his message. With a zeal worthy of a 
better cause, and with a perseverance and patience 
that might serve as a model to a Christian mis 
sionary, he backed his public appeals by private 
addresses, and put in requisition all the arts of per 
suasion and proselytism, in which he was so emi 
nently skilled. He applied himself in the most 
insinuating manner to all classes of people ; he 
was complaisant and liberal to the poor, cultivating 
their acquaintance and relieving their wants ; the 
rich and noble he soothed by flattery ; and bore 
affronts without seeking to avenge them. The 
effect of this politic management was greatly en 
hanced by the peculiar character of those inspired 
promises and threatenings which he brought to 
enforce his message. 

His promises were chiefly of a blissful paradise 
in another life ; and these he studiously aimed to 
set forth in colours best calculated to work upon 
the fancies of a sensitive and sensual race, whose 


minds, in consequence of their national habits, 
were little susceptible of the images of abstract 
enjoyment. The notions of a purely intellectual 
or spiritual happiness pertain to a more cultivated 
people. The scorching heat of those tropical re 
gions, the aridness of the soil, and the consequent 
lack of a verdant vegetation, made it natural to the 
Arabs, and other oriental nations, to conceive of 
the most exquisite scenes of pleasure under the 
images of rivers of water, cooling drinks, flowery 
gardens, shaded bowers, and luscious fruits. The 
magnificence also of many of the Eastern build 
ings, their temples and palaces, with the sumptu- 
ousness of their dresses, the pomp of processions, 
and the splendour of courts, would all tend to 
mingle in their ideas of the highest state of en 
joyment an abundance of gold and silver and pre 
cious stones treasures for which the East has 
been famed from time immemorial. Mohammed 
was well aware that a plenitude of these visible 
and palpable attractions, to say nothing of grosser 
sources of pleasure, was an indispensable requi 
site in a heaven suited to the temperament of his 
countrymen. Accordingly, he assures the faith 
ful, that they shall enter into delectable gardens, 
where the rivers flow, some with water, some with 
wine, some with milk, and some with clarified 
hone) r ; that there will be fountains and purling 
streams whose pebbles are rubies and emeralds, 
their earth of camphire, their beds of musk, and 
their sides of saffron. In feasting upon the ban 
quets of paradise, at one time the most delicious 


fruits shall hang dependent from the branches of 
the trees under which their couches are spread, so 
that they have only to reach forth their hands to 
pluck them; again, they shall be served in dishes 
of gold filled with every variety of grateful food, 
and supplied with wine of ambrosial flavour. But 
the prophet s own glowing pictures of the joys of 
his promised paradise will do more justice to the 
subject. " They shall repose on couches, the lin 
ings whereof shall be of thick silk interwoven witli 
gold ; and the fruit of the two gardens shall be 
near at hand to gather. Therein shall receive 
them beauteous damsels, refraining their eyes from 
beholding any besides their spouses, having com 
plexions like rubies and pearls. Besides these 
there shall be two other gardens that shall be 
dressed in eternal verdure. In each of them 
shall be two fountains pouring forth plenty of 
water. In each of them shall be fruits, and palm- 
trees, and pomegranates. Therein shall be agree 
able and beauteous damsels, having fine black 
eyes, and kept in pavilions from public view, 
whom no man shall have dishonoured before their 
predestined spouses, nor any genius." "They 
shall dwell in gardens of delight, reposing on 
couches adorned with gold and precious stones ; 
sitting opposite to one another thereon. Youths, 
which shall continue in their bloom for ever, shall 
go round about to attend them, with goblets and 
beakers, and a cup of flowing wine : their heads 
shall not ache by drinking the same, neither shall 
their reason be disturbed." " Upon them shall be 


garments of fine green silk, and of brocades, and 
they shall be adorned with bracelets of silver, and 
their Lord shall give them to drink of a most pure 
liquor a cup of wine mixed with the water of 
Zenjebil, a fountain in paradise named Salsabil." 
"But those who believe and do that which is right, 
we will bring into gardens watered by rivers, 
therein shall they remain for ever, and therein 
shall they enjoy wives free from all infirmities ; 
and we will lead them into perpetual abodes." 
" For those who fear their Lord will be prepared 
high apartments in paradise, over which shall be 
other apartments built; and rivers shall run be 
neath them." " But for the pious is prepared a 
place of bliss : gardens planted with trees, and 
vineyards, and damsels of equal age with them 
selves, and a full cup." 

Such is the Mohammedan paradise, rendered 
alluring by its gross, carnal, and luxurious cha 
racter. It cannot indeed be denied that there are 
occasional intimations, in the Koran, of some kind 
of spiritual happiness to be enjoyed by the pious 
in addition to their corporeal pleasures. " Their 
prayer therein shall be, Praise be unto thee, O 
God ! and their salutation therein shall be, Peace ! 
and the end of their prayer shall be, Praise be 
unto God, the Lord of all creatures."! But it is 
beyond question, that the main ingredients in the 
anticipated happiness of the Moslem saints are of 
a sensual kind, addressed to the inferior principles 

* Koran, eh. iii. iv. xxxvi. xxxvii. xliii. xlvii. Ixxviii. |Ch. x. 


of our nature, and making their paradise to dif 
fer but little from the Elysium of the heathen 

The reader of the Koran will meet with re 
peated declarations subversive of the vulgar opi 
nion, that the religion of Mohammed denies to 
women the possession of souls, and excludes 
them from all participation in the joys of paradise. 
"Whatever may have been imagined or affirmed on 
this point by some of his more ignorant followers, it 
is certain that Mohammed himself thought too 
highly of women to inculcate any such doctrine, as 
the following passages will evince : "Whoso doeth 
evil, shall be rewarded for it ; and shall not find any 
patron or helper besides God; but whoso doeth 
good works, whether he be male or female, and is 
a true believer, they shall be admitted into para 
dise, and shall not in the least be unjustly dealt 
with."* " The reward of these shall be paradise, 
gardens of eternal abode, which they shall enter, 
and whoever shall have acted uprightly, of their 
fathers, and their wives, and their posterity ; and 
the angels shall go in unto them by every gate, 
saying, Peace be upon you, because ye have en 
dured with patience ; how excellent a reward is 
paradise !"f 

ff these vivid representations of the future bliss 
of the faithful were calculated to work strongly 
upon the passions of his hearers, his denunciations 
of the fearful torments reserved for unbelievers, 

* Koran, ch. iv. t Ch. xiii. 



were equally well fitted to produce the same ef 
fect. The most revolting images of bodily suf 
fering, hunger, thirst, the torture of fire, and the 
anguish of piercing cold, were summoned up by 
the preacher to alarm the workers of evil, and to 
call off the worshippers of idols from their im 
piety. " But for the transgressors is prepared an 
evil receptacle, namely hell : they shall be cast 
into the same to be burned, and a wretched couch 
shall it be." "And they who believe not shall 
have garments of fire fitted unto them : boiling 
water shall be poured on their heads ; their bow 
els shall be dissolved thereby, and also their skins ; 
and they shall be beaten with maces of iron. So 
often as they shall endeavour to get out of hell, 
because of the anguish of their torments, they 
shall be dragged back into the same ; and their 
tormentors shall say unto them, Taste ye the pain 
of burning."* " It shall be said unto them, Go 
ye into the punishment which ye denied as a false 
hood: go ye into the shadow of the smoke of 
hell, which shall ascend in three columns, and 
shall not shade you from the heat, neither shall it 
be of service against the flame ; but it shall cast 
forth sparks as big as towers, resembling yellow 
camels in colour."! " Hath the news of the 
overwhelming day of judgment reached thee? 
The countenances of some, on that day, shall be 
cast down ; labouring and toiling ; they shall be 
cast into a scorching fire to be broiled : they 

* Koran, cli. xvii. t Ch. Ixxviii. 


be given to drink of a boiling fountain : they shall 
have no food but of dry thorns and thistles ; 
which shall not fatten neither shall they satisfy 
hunger." "Is this a better entertainment, or the 
tree of Al Zaccum ? How different is the tree Al 
Zaccum from the abode of Eden ! We have 
planted it for the torment of the wicked. It is a 
tree which issueth from the bottom of hell : thr 
fruit thereof resembleth the heads of devils ; and 
the damned shall eat of the same, and shall fill 
their bellies therewith ; and there shall be given 
them thereon a mixture of filthy and boiling wutcr 
to drink : afterward shall they return into hell."* 

Such was the burden of his exhortations, while 
he warned the people of the danger of unbelief, 
and urged them by his eloquence to avoid eter 
nal damnation by putting faith in the apostle of 
God. In addition to these powerful motives, 
drawn from another world, he was lavish in the 
menaces of fearful punishments in this life also, if 
they hearkened not to his voice. For this pur 
pose, he set before them the calamities which had 
overtaken those who, in former times, had refused 
to listen to the prophets sent among them. " Do 
they not consider how many generations we have 
destroyed before them? Other apostles have 
been laughed to scorn before thee, but the judg 
ments which they made a jest of encompassed 
those who laughed them to .scorn. Say, Go 
through the earth, and behold what has been the 

* Koran, ch. xxxvii. 


end of those who accused our prophets of impos 
ture."* " We have already sent messages unto 
sundry nations before thee, and we afflicted them 
with trouble and adversity, that they might humble 
themselves : yet when the affliction which we 
sent came upon them, they did not humble them 
selves ; but their hearts became hardened, and 
Satan caused them to find charms in rebellion. 
And when they had forgotten that concerning 
which they had been admonished, we suddenly 
laid hold on them, and behold they were seized 
with despair ; and the utmost part of the people 
which had acted wickedly was cut off: praise be 
unto God, the Lord of all creatures !"f He cited 
the case of the inhabitants of the old world, who 
perished in the deluge for riot giving heed to the 
preaching of Noah ; of Sodom, overwhelmed by 
fire for not receiving the admonition of Lot ; and 
of the Egyptians, who were buried in the Red 
Sea for despising Moses. To give still greater 
effect to his warnings, and ingratiate himself into 
the favour, as well as to awaken the fears, of his 
auditors, he took repeated occasions to allege his 
entire disinterestedness in the work in which he 
was engaged. He preached because he was com 
manded to preach, and not because he intended 
covertly to make gain of his hearers. He there 
fore boldly takes them to witness that he de 
manded no compensation for his services. He 
looked to a higher source for reward. " But we 

* Koran |Ch. vi. 


have brought them their admonition ; and they 
turn aside from their admonition. Dost thou ask 
of them any maintenance for thy preaching t since 
the maintenance of thy Lord is better ; for he is 
the most bounteous provider."* " We have sent 
thee to be no other than a bearer of good tidings, 
and a denouncer of threats. Say, I ask not of 
you any reward for this my preaching, besides the 
conversion of him who shall desire to take the 
way unto his Lord."f As the prophet theref- 
disclaimed all sinister views in the execution of 
his office, as he expressly renounced the expect 
ancy of any earthly advantage whatever, so he 
was commanded to divest hi? mind of all undue 
anxiety as to the result of his labours of love. 
" O apostle, let not them grieve thee who hasten 
to infidelity." " Whoso is wilfully blind, the con 
sequence will be to himself. We have not ap 
pointed thee a keeper over them : neither art thou 
a guardian over them." " And be not thou grieved 
on account of the unbelievers, neither be thou 
troubled for that which they subtly devise."! 

It is not therefore to be wondered at that the 
rousing appeals of the prophet should have taken 
effect ; that one after another should have listened 
pondered wavered and yielded especially 
as the gravity and sanctity of his deportment seem, 
at this time, to have corresponded with the solemn 
strain of his expostulations. Such accordingly 
was the fact. The number of his followers gra- 

* Koran, ch. xxiii. t Ch. xlii. * Ch. xvi. 



dually increased, so that in five years from the 
commencement of his mission, his party, including 
himself, amounted to forty. 

That which operated more than any thing else 
to disconcert the impostor was the demand re 
peatedly made upon him to prove the truth of his 
mission by working a miracle. "Moses and Je 
sus," said his hearers, " and the rest of the pro 
phets, according to thine own doctrine, wrought 
miracles to prove themselves sent of God. Now 
if thou be a prophet, and greater than any that 
were before thee, as thou boastest, let us see a 
miracle from thee also. Do thou make the dead 
to rise, the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear ; or 
else cause fountains to spring out of the earth, and 
make this place a garden adorned with vines and 
palm trees, and watered with rivers running 
through it in divers channels ; or do thou make 
thee a house of gold beautified with jewels and 
costly furniture ; or let us see the book which 
thou allegest to have come down from heaven, or 
the angel which thou sayest brings it unto thee, 
and we will, believe." This natural and not un 
reasonable demand, he had, as we learn from the 
Koran, several ways of evading. At one time, he 
tells them he is only a man sent to preach to them 
the rewards of paradise and the punishments of 
hell. " The infidels say, unless a sign be sent 
unto him from his Lord, we will not believe. 
Thou art commissioned to be a preacher only, and 
not a worker of miracles."* "Answer, Signs are 

* Koran, ch.xiii. 


in the power of God alone ; and I am no more 
than a public preacher. Is it not sufficient for 
them that we have sent down unto thee the book 
of the Koran, to be read unto them ?"* " We 
sent not our messengers otherwise than bearing 
good tidings and denouncing threat Say, I say 
not unto you, The treasures of God are in my 
power : neither do I say, I know the secrets of 
d od: neither do Is ay unto you, Verily I am an 
angel : I follow only that wlu ch is revealed unto 
me."t At another, that their predecessors had 
despised the miracles of the former prophets, and 
for this reason God would work no more among 
them. Again, that those whom God had ordained 
to believe, should believe without miracles, while 
the hapless non-elect, to whom he had not decreed 
the gift of faith, would not believe though ever 
so many miracles were wrought before them. 
" And though we had sent down angels unto them, 
and the dead had spoken unto them, they would 
not have believed, unless God had so pleased." J 
" If their aversion to thy admonitions be grievous 
unto thee, if thou canst seek a den whereby thou 
mayest penetrate into the inward parts of the earth, 
or a ladder by which thou mayest ascend into 
heaven, that thou mayest show them a sign, do so, 
but thy search will be fruitless ; for if God pleased 
he would bring them all to the true direction."^ 
At a latrr period, when he was at Medina at the 
read of an army, he had a more summary way of 

* Koran, ch. xiii. t Ch. vi. } Ibid. $ Ibid. 


solving all difficulties arising from this source, for 
his doctrine then was, that God had formerly sent 
Moses and Jesus with the power of working mira 
cles, and yet men would not believe, and there 
fore he had now sent him, a prophet of another 
order, commissioned to enforce belief by the power 
of the sword. The sword accordingly was to be 
the true seal of his apostleship, and the remark 
of the historian is equally just and striking, that 
"Mohammed, with the sword in one hand and the 
Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins 
of Christianity and of Rome."* 

By some of the more credulous of the prophet s 
followers, there are, it is true, several miracles at 
tributed to him ; as that he clave the moon asun 
der ; that trees went forth to meet him ; that 
water flowed from between his fingers ; that the 
stones saluted him ; that a beam groaned at him ; 
that a camel complained to him ; and that a shoul 
der of mutton informed him of its being poisoned, 
together with several others. But these miracles 
were never alleged by Mohammed himself, nor are 
they maintained by any respectable Moslem wri 
ters. The only miracle claimed either by him or 
his intelligent votaries is the Koran, the composi 
tion of which is the grand miracle of their reli 
gion. On this point the reader will perceive that 
the prophet s assumptions in the following pas 
sages are high-toned indeed. " If ye be in doubt 
concerning that revelation which we have sent 


* Gibbon. 


down unto our servant, produce a chapter like 
unto it, and call upon your witnesses, b< God, 
if ye say the truth."* Say, Verily, if men and 
genii were purposely assembled, that they mi 
produce a book like this Koran, they could not 
produce one like it, although the one of them as 
sisted the other."f "Will they Bay, He hath 
forged the Koran ? Bring therefore ten chap! 
like unto it, forged by yourselves ; and call on 
whomsoever ye may to assist you."j The infatua 
tion of the Meccans in rejecting this inestimable 
" admonition," stamped as it was with the evident 
impress of the divinity, he hesitates not to ascribe 
to the effect of a fearful judicial obstinacy, such as 
the Jewish prophets frequently threaten against 
the perverse nation of Israel. " If we had re 
vealed the Koran in a foreign language, they had 
surely said, Unless the signs thereof be distinctly 
explained, we will not receive the same : Answer, 
It is unto those who believe a sure guide and a 
remedy ; but unto those who believe not, it is a 
thickness of hearing in their ears, and it is a dark 
ness which covereth them." " As for the unbe 
lievers, it will be equal unto them whether thou 
admonish them or do not admonish them ; they 
will not believe. God hath sealed up their hearts 
and their hearing ; a dimness covereth their sight, 
and they shall suffer a grievous punishment. "|| 
" There is of them who hearkeneth unto thee 
when thou readest the Koran ; but we have cast 

* Koran ch. ii. t Ch. xvii. { Ch xi. 

$Ch. xli. || Ch. ii. 


veils over their hearts, that they should not under 
stand it, and a deafness in their ears ; and though 
they should see all kinds of signs, they will not 
believe therein ; and their infidelity will arrive to 
that height, that they will even come unto thee to 
dispute with thee."* Still his preaching prevailed. 
He became more and more popular; proselytes 
flocked around him ; and, as Gibbon remarks, " he 
had the satisfaction of beholding the increase of 
his infant congregation of Unitarians, who revered 
him as a prophet, and to whom he seasonably dis 
pensed the spiritual nourishment of the Koran."f 

* Koran, ch. vL t Dec. and Fall, ch. 1. 



The Korfish exasperated and alarmed by Mohammed s growing sue- 
cess Commence persecution Some of tux fll<nr,rx / m 

flight New converts The Koreish form a League aga< /n 

Abu Taleb and Cadijah die He makes a tempor* , (Wl 

Mecca Returns and preaches with increased zealS> f the 

Pilgrims from Medina converted. 

THE zeal of the prophet in proclaiming his doc 
trines, together with the visible increase of his 
followers, at length alarmed the fears of the head 
men of the tribe of Koreish ; and had it not been 
for the powerful protection of his uncle, Moham 
med would doubtless at this time have fallen a 
victim to the malice of his opponents. The chief 
men of the tribe warmly solicited Abu Tal.-h to 
abandon his nephew, remonstrating against the 
perilous innovations he was making in the religion 
of their fathers, and threatening him with an open 
rupture in case he did not prevail upon him to 
desist. Their entreaties had so much weight with 
Abu Taleb, that he earnestly dissuaded his rela 
tive from prosecuting his attempted reformation 
any farther, representing to him in strong tenns 
the danger he would incur both for himself and his 
friends by persisting in his present course. But 
the ardent apostle, far from being intimidated by 
the prospect of opposition, frankly assured his 
uncle, " That if they should set the sun against 
him on his right hand, and the moon on his left, 


yet he would not relinquish his enterprise." Abu 
Taleb, seeing him thus determined, used no far 
ther arguments to divert him, but promised to 
stand by him against all his enemies ; a promise 
which he faithfully kept till he died, though there 
is no clear evidence that he ever became a con 
vert to the new religion. 

The Koreish, rinding that they could prevail 
neither by fair words nor by menaces, had re 
course to violence. They began to persecute his 
followers ; and to such a length did they proceed 
in their injurious treatment, that it was no longer 
safe for them to continue at Mecca. Mohammed 
therefore gave leave to such of them as had not 
friends to protect them, to seek refuge elsewhere. 
Accordingly sixteen of them, among whom was 
Mohammed s daughter and her husband, fled into 
Ethiopia. These were afterward followed by 
several others, who withdrew in successive com 
panies, till their number amounted to eighty-three 
men, and eighteen women, with their children. 
These refugees were kindly entertained by the 
king of Ethiopia, who peremptorily refused to 
deliver them to the emissaries of the Koreish sent 
to demand them. To these voluntary exiles the 
prophet perhaps alludes in the following passage : 
" As for those who have fled from their country 
for the sake of God, after they had been unjustly 
persecuted, we will surely provide them an ^excel 
lent habitation in this world, but the reward of the 
next life shall be greater, if they knew it." * 

* Koran, ch. xvi. 


In the sixth year of his mission, lie had the 
pleasure of seeing his party strengthened by the 
conversion of his urn-le llaniza, a man of distin 
guished valour, and of Omar, a p i of equal 
note in Mecca, who had formerly made himself 
conspicuous hy his virulent opposition to the pro 
phet and his claims. This new accession to the 
rising sect exasperated the Koreish afresh, ;md in 
cited them to measures of still more active perse 
cution against the proselytes. But as persecution 
usually advances the cause which it lahonrs to 
destroy, so in the present case Islamism made 
more rapid progress than ever, till the Koreish, 
maddened with malice, entered into a solemn league 
or covenant against the Hashemites, and especially 
the family of the Motalleb, many of whom upheld 
the impostor, engaging to contract no marriages 
with them, nor to hold any farther connexion or 
commerce of any kind ; and, to give it the greater 
sanction, the compact was reduced to writing and 
laid up in the Caaba. Upon this the tribe became I 
divided into two factions ; the family of Hashem, 
except one of Mohammed s uncles, putting them 
selves under Abu Taleb as their head, and the 
other party ranging themselves under the standard 
of Abu Sophyan. This league, however, was of 
no avail during the lifetime of Abu Taleb. The 
power of the uncle, who presided in the govern 
ment of Mecca, defended the nephew against 
the designs of his enemies. At length, about the 
close of the seventh year of the mission, Abu 
Taleb died ; and, a few days after his death, Mo- 



hammed was left a widower, by the decease of 
Cadijah, whose memory has been canonized by 
the saying of the prophet ; " That among men 
there had been many perfect, but of women, four 
only had attained to perfection, viz. Cadijah, his 
wife ; Fatima, his daughter ; Asia, the wife of Pha 
raoh ; and Mary (Miriam), the daughter of Imran 
and sister of Moses." As to Abu Taleb, though 
the prophet ever cherished a most grateful sense 
of the kindness of his early benefactor, yet if the 
following passage from the Koran has reference, 
as some of the commentators say, to his uncle, it 
shows that the dictates of nature in the nephew s 
breast were thoroughly brought into subjection to 
the stern precepts of his religion. " It is not 
allowed unto the prophet, nor those who are true 
believers, that they pray for idolaters, although 
they be of kin, after it is become known unto them 
that they are inhabitants of hell." * This passage, 
it is said by some, was revealed on account of Abu 
Taleb, who, upon his death-bed, being pressed 
by his nephew to speak a word which might enable 
him to plead his cause before God, that is, to pro 
fess Islam, absolutely refused. Mohammed, how 
ever, told him that he would not cease to pray for 
him till he should be forbidden by God ; such a 
prohibition, he affirmed, was given him in the 
words here cited. Others suppose the occasion to 
have been the prophet s visiting his mother Amina s 
sepulchre, who also was an infidel, soon after the 
capture of Mecca. Here, while standing at the 

* Koran, ch. ix. 


tomb of hi- parent, he is reported to have burst 
into tears, and said, " I asked leave of God to 
visit my mother s tomb, and he "ranted it me; but 
when I asked leave to pray for her, it was denied 
me." This twofold alllirtion of the prophet, in 
the loss of his uncle and his wife mi the same 
year, induced him ever after to call this " The 
Year of Mourning." 

The unprotected apostle was now left com 
pletely exposed to the attacks of his enemies, and 
they failed not to improve their advantage. They 
redoubled their efforts to crush the pestilent heresy, 
with its author and abettors, and some of his fol 
lowers and friends, seeing the symptoms of a 
fiercer storm of persecution gathering, forsook the 
standard of their leader. In this extremity Mo 
hammed perceived, that his only chance of safety 
was in a temporary retreat from the scene of con 
flict. He accordingly withdrew to Tayef, a village 
situated sixty miles to the East of Mecca, where 
he had an uncle named Abbas, whose hospitality 
afforded him a seasonable shelter. Here, how 
ever, his stay was short, and his prophetic labours 
unavailing. He returned to Mecca, and boldly 
taking his stand in the precincts of the Caaba, 
among the crowds of pilgrims who resorted an 
nually to this ancient shrine, he preached the 
gospel of Islam to the multitudinous assemblies. 
New proselytes again rewarded his labours ; and, 
among the accessions now made to his party from 
these pilgrim hordes, were six of the inhabitants 
of Medina, then called Yatreb, who, on their return 


home began at once to relate to their fellow-citizens 
the story of their conversion, and to extol, in no 
measured terms, their new religion and its apostle. 
This circumstance gave eclat to Mohammed in 
the city of Medina, and paved the way to a train 
of events which tended more than any thing else 
to promote his final success in Arabia. In the 
mean time, in order to strengthen his interest in 
Mecca, he married Ayesha, the daughter of Abu- 
beker, and shortly after Sawda, the daughter of 
Zama. By thus becoming the son-in-law of two 
of the principal men of his party he secured their 
patronage to his person and his cause. 



The Prophet pretends to have had a night-journey through the Sewn 
Heavens Description of the memorable Night bij an Arabic icriter 
Account of the Journey His probable Motu-is in ft. inning such an 
ravag ant fiction. 

IT was in the twelfth year of the pretended mis 
sion that Mohammed was favoured, according to 
his own account, witli his celebrated night-journey 
from Mecca to Jerusalem, and from thence to the 
seventh heaven, under the conduct of the angel 
Gabriel. In allusion to this the s<?\ enth chap 
ter of the Koran commences thus : " Praise be 
unto him who transported his servant by night 
from the sacred temple of Mecca to the farther 
temple of Jerusalem, the circuit of which we 
have blessed, that we might show some of our 
signs ; for God is he who heareth and seeth." 
This idle and extravagant tale, which is not related 
in the Koran, but handed down by tradition, was 
probably devised by the impostor in order to 
raise his reputation as a saint, and to put himself 
more nearly upon a level with Moses, with whom 
God conversed, face to face, in the holy mount. 
The story, however, is devoutly believed by the 
Mussulmans, and one of their writers has given 
the following highly-wrought description of the 
memorable night in which it occurred. " In the 



darkest, most obscure, and most silent night that 
the sun ever caused by his absence, since that 
glorious planet of light was created or had its being; 
a night in which there was no crowing of cocks to 
be heard throughout the whole universe, no bark 
ings of dogs, no howlings, roarings, or yellings of 
wild beasts, nor watchings of nocturnal birds ; 
nay, and not only the feathered and four-footed 
creatures suspended their customary vociferations 
and motions, but likewise the waters ceased from 
their murmurings, the winds from their whistlings, 
the air from its breathings, the serpents from their 
hissings, the mountains, valleys, and caverns from 
their resounding echoes, the earth from its produc 
tions, the tender plants from their sproutings, the 
grass of the field from its- verdancy, the waves of 
the sea from their agitations, and their inhabitants, 
the fishes, from plying their fins. And indeed 
upon a night so wonderful it was very requisite, 
that all the creatures of the Lord s handy-work 
should cease from their usual movements, and be 
come dumb and motionless, and lend an attentive 
ear, that they might conceive by means of their 
ears what their tongues were not capable of ex 
pressing. Nor is any tongue able to express the 
wonders and mysteries of this night, and should 
any undertake so unequal a task, there could no 
thing be represented but the bare shadow ; since 
what happened in this miraculous night was infi 
nitely the greatest arid most stupendous event that 
ever befell any of the posterity of Adam, either 
expressed in any of the sacred writings which 


came down from above, or by signs and figures. 
From the sublime altitudes of heaven the most 
glorious seraph of all those which God ever 
created or produced, the incomparable Gabriel, 
upon the latter part of the evening of that stupen 
dous night, took a hasty and precipitate flight, 
and descended to this lower world with an unheard- 
of and wonderful message, the which caused an 
universal rejoicing on earth, and filled the seven 
heavens with a more than ordinary gladness ; and, 
as the nature of the message both required and 
inspired joy, he visited the world under the most 
glorious and beautiful appearance that even imagi 
nation itself is capable of figuring. His whiteness 
obscured that of the driven snow, and his splen 
dour darkened the rays of the noontide sun. His 
garments were all covered with the richest flowers 
in embroidery of celestial fabric, and his many 
wings were most beautifully expanded, and all in 
terspersed with inestimable precious stones. His 
stature was exceeding tall, and his presence 
exquisitely awful. Upon his beauteous capa 
cious forehead he bore two lines written in cha 
racters of dazzling light ; the uppermost consisted 
of these words, La illah iF allah THERE is NO 
GOD BUT ALLAH ; and in the lowermost line was 
contained, Mohammed Rasoul Allah MOHAMMED 

In passing from this poetical prelude, conceived 
in the true gorgeous style of oriental description, 
to the meagre and puerile story of the journey it- 

* Morgan s Mahometanism Explained. 


self, we feel at once that the prophet s fancy suffers 
by comparison with that of his disciple, who could 
certainly, from the above specimen, have given a 
vastly more interesting fiction of a celestial tour 
than the miserable tissue of absurdity which appears 
in the fabrication of the prophet. Without detail 
ing all the particulars of this nocturnal expedition, 
in which the marvels thickened upon him till he 
had reached the utmost height of the empyrean, 
the following outline will afford the reader an idea 
of its general character. 

While the prophet was reposing in his bed, with 
his beloved Ayesha at his side, he was suddenly 
awakened by the angel Gabriel, who stood before 
him with seventy pair of expanded wings, whiter 
than snow and clearer than crystal. The angel 
informed him that he had come to conduct him to 
heaven, and directed him to mount an animal that 
stood ready at the door, and which was between 
the nature of an ass and a mule. The name of 
this beast was Alborak, signifying in the Arabic 
tongue, The Lightning," from his inconceivable 
swiftness. His colour was a milky white. As 
he had, however, remained inactive from the time 
of Christ to that of Mohammed there having 
been no prophet in the interval to employ him 
he now proved so restless and refractory, that 
Mohammed could not succeed in seating himself 
on his back till he had promised him a place in 
paradise. Pacified by this promise, he suffered 
the prophet quietly to mount, and Gabriel, taking 
the bridle in his hand, conveyed him from Mecca 


to Jerusalem in the twinkling o f eye. When he 
arrived at the latter place, the departed prophets 
and saints came forth to meet and to salute him. 
and to request an interest in his pnr Alien lie 
came near to the tin one of ^ (ioinnr out of 

the temple he found ;i ladder of lijrht ready fixed 
for them, and tying Alhorak to ;i jock, he followed 
Gabriel on the ladder till they reached tin 
heaven, where admittance was readily granted hy 
the porter, when told by Gabriel that h .m- 
panion was no other than Mohammed, the pro- 
phot of God. This first heaven, he tells us, was 
all of pure silver, adorned with stars hanirino 
from it by chains of gold, each of them of the 
size of a mountain. Here he was met by a de- 
crepid old man, whom the prophet learned to be 
our father Adam, and who greatly rejoiced at 
having so distinguished a son. He saw also in 
this heaven innumerable angels in the shape of 
birds, beasts, and men ; but its crowning wonder 
was a gigantic cock, whose head towered up to 
the second heaven, though at the distance of five 
hundred days journey from the first ! His wings 
were large in proportion, and were decked with 
carbuncles and pearls ; and so loud did he crow, 
whenever the morning dawned, that all creatures 
on earth, except men and fairies, heard the tre 
mendous din. The second heaven was of pure 
gold, and contained twice as many angels as the 
former. Among these was one of such vast di 
mensions, that the distance between his eyes was 
equal to the length of seventy thousand days 


journey. Here he met Noah, who begged the 
favour of his prayers. Thence he proceeded to 
the third, where he was accosted by Abraham 
with the same request. Here he found the Angel 
of Death, with an immense table before him, on 
which he was writing the names of the human 
race as they were born, and blotting them out as 
their allotted number of days was completed, 
when they immediately died. At his entrance into 
the fourth heaven, which was of emerald, he was 
met by Joseph, the son of Jacob. In the fifth he 
beheld his honoured predecessor, Moses. In the 
sixth, which was of carbuncle, he found John the 
Baptist. In the seventh, made of divine light in 
stead of metals or gems, he saw Jesus Christ, 
whose superior dignity it would seem that he ac 
knowledged by requesting an interest in his 
prayers, whereas in every preceding case the per 
sonages mentioned solicited this favour of him. 
In this heaven the number of angels, which had 
been increasing through every step of his progress, 
vastly exceeded that of all the other departments, 
and among them was one who had seventy thou 
sand heads, in every head seventy thousand mouths, 
in every mouth seventy thousand tongues, in every 
tongue seventy thousand voices, with which day 
and night he was incessantly- employed praising 

The angel having conducted him thus far, in 
formed him, that he was not permitted to attend 
him any farther in the capacity of guide, but that he 
must ascend the remainder of the distance to the 


throne of God alono. This he accordingly under 
took, and finally accomplished, though with great 
difficulty, his w;iy lying through waters and snows, 
and other formidahle obstacles, sndicieiit to daunt 
the stoutest heart. At length he reached a point 
where he heard a voice addressing him, saying, 
" O Mohammed, salute thy Creator/ Mounting 
still higher, he came to a place where he beheld 
a vast extension of light of such dazzling hri/r] it- 
ness, that the powers of mortal vision were unahlc 
to endure it. In the midst of the eilulgence w 
the throne of the Eternal ; on the right side of 
which was written in luminous Arabic characters : 
" There is no God but God, and Mohammed is 
his prophet." This inscription, he says, he found 
written on all the gates of the seven heavens 
through which he passed. Having approached 
to within two bow- shots of the Divine presence, 
he ailinned that he there beheld the Most High 
seated upon his throne, with a covering of seventy 
thousand veils, before his face, from beneath which 
he stretched forth his hand and laid it upon the 
prophet, when a coldness of inconceivable intensity 
pierced, as he said, to " the very marrow of his 
back." No injury, however, ensued, and the Al 
mighty then condescended to enter into the most 
familiar converse with his servant, unfolding to 
him a great many hidden mysteries, making him 
to understand the whole law, and instructing him 
fully in the nature of the institutions he was to 
deliver to mankind. In addition to this he honoured 
him with several distinctions above the rest of his 


race ; as that he should be the most perfect of all 
creatures ; that at the day of judgment he should 
have the pre-eminence among the risen dead ; that 
he should be the redeemer of all that believe in 
him ; that he should have the knowledge of all 
languages ; and, lastly, that the spoils -of all whom 
he should conquer in war should belong to him 
alone. After receiving these gracious assurances, 
he retired from the presence of the Divine Majesty, 
and, returning, found the angel awaiting him at the 
place where they parted, who immediately re- 
conducted him back, in the same manner in which 
he came, to Jerusalem and Mecca. 

Such were the puerile conceptions of the pro 
phet. Such the silly rhapsody which he palmed 
upon the credulity of his followers as the description 
of a most veritable occurrence. The story, however, 
carried on the face of it such glaring absurdity, that 
several of his party forsook him at once, and his 
whole cause came near to being utterly ruined by it. 
At length Abubeker, the man of greatest influence 
among the prophet s friends, by professing to give 
credence to the tale, at once put to shame the in 
fidelity of the rest, and extricated his leader from 
his unhappy dilemma. He boldly vouched for the 
prophet s veracity. " If Mohammed affirms it, it 
is undeniably true, and I will stand by him. I 
believe every word of it. The Lord s elected 
cannot lie." This seasonable incident not only 
retrieved the prophet s credit, but increased it to 
such a degree, that it made him sure of being able 
ever after to impose any fiction he pleased upon the 


>y faith ol his disriph So that this 
and paltry fable, which at first threatened to h! 
all the impostor*- > IK UK s in the hud. did in l;id 

ve, by a peculia^ combination of circum*tan< 

materially to promote his success. Abnbeker 
henceforth had the honorary title of " Faithful 
Witness" bestowed upon him. 

We learn from Sale, the English rdmmcntatof 
upon the Koran, that it is still somewhat dispi, 
among the Mohammedan doctors, whether their 
prophet s niiiht -journey was really performed by 
him corporeally, or whether it was only a die 
or a vision. Some think it was no more than a 
vision, and allege an express tradition of Moawiyah, 
one of Mohammed s successors, to that purpp^e. 
Others suppose, that he was carried bodily to 
Jerusalem, but no farther ; and that he thence as- 
< ended to heaven in spirit only. But the received 
opinion is, that it was no vision, but that he was 
actually transported in the body to his journey s 
end; and, if any impossibility be objected, they 
deem it a sufficient answer to say, that it might 
easily have been effected by an omnipotent Being. 

It is by no means improbable that Mohammed 
had a farther design in forging this extravagant 
tale than merely to astonish his adherents by the 
relation of a miraculous adventure. The attentive 
observer of the distinguishing traits of Islamism 
will not fail to discover innumerable points of re 
semblance between that system and the divinely- 
revealed religion of the Jews ; and it appears to 
have been an object studiously aimed at by the 



impostor to assimilate himself as much as possible 
to Moses, and to incorporate as many peculiarities 
of the Jewish economy into his own fabrication as 
he could without destroying the simplicity of his 
creed. This fact is in keeping with what may be 
asserted in general terms, that the descendants of 
Ishmael, under a consciousness that the cove 
nanted blessings of Jehovah have flowed down in 
the line 6f Isaac and Jacob, have ever shown a 
disposition to imitate what they could not attain. 
More stiking proofs of this will appear in the 
sequel. We adduce the observation here as 
affording a probable clew to the motives of the 
prophet in feigning this memorable night-journey. 
Hitherto he had only imparted to his followers the 
Koran, which, like the books of Moses, may be 
termed his written law. In making this revelation 
he had professed himself merely an organ through 
whom the divine counsels were to be uttered to 
the race of men. He simply gave forth what was 
communicated to him through the medium of the 
angelic messenger, and that without interposing 
any comments or expositions of his own. Ac 
cordingly, when pressed by the cavils of his adver 
saries, his usual refuge was to affirm that the Koran 
was not his book, but God s, and that he alone 
could give a just interpretation of its meaning, 
which was in some places to be understood literally, 
in others allegorically. " There is no God but 
God, the living, the self-subsisting : he hath sent 
down unto thee the book of the Koran with truth, 
confirming that which was revealed before it. 


It is lie who hath sent down unto tliee the book, 
therein are some verses clear to hi.- understood; 
they are the foundation of the book; and others 
are parabolical. JJut they whose he-arts are per 
verse will follow that which is parabolical therein, 
out of love of schism, and a desire of the inter 
pretation thereof; yet none knoweth the interpre 
tation thereof except God."* But having me 
means become acquainted with the fact, that the 
Jews, in addition to the written law dictated by 
< >d himself, were in possession of another, called 
the oral law, said to have been given to Moses at 
the same time with the former on the holy mount; 
and from Jiim handed down by tradition from age 
to age; understanding, moreover, that this law was 
accounted of equal authority with the written, 
while it had its origin solely from certain verbal 
declarations or dictates of Moses which were pre 
served in the memories of those who conver- 
with him ; the prophet may from this have taken 
the hint of a similar mode of advancing his autho 
rity, and of giving the weight and character of 
oracles to his private sayings. To this end it is 
not unlikely that he originated the fabulous legend 
of his nocturnal travel into the regions of the 
spheres. He was well aware, that could he once 
succeed in making it believed that he had been fa 
voured to hold this high converse with God in the 
secret of his presence, and that he had been there 
fully instructed in the profound mysteries of hea 
ven, he could upon this foundation erect just such 

* Koran, ch. iii. 


a fabric of imposture as he pleased, and impose it 
upon his credulous followers. Such at any rate 
was the actual result. From this time forth 
a peculiar sacredness attached to the most trivial 
sayings and the most inconsiderable actions of the 
prophet iii every thing that regarded his religion. 
They were reverently noted during his lifetime, 
and devoutly collected from traditional reports after 
his death, and at length brought together in those 
volumes of traditions, which compose the Sonnah^ 
answering precisely to the oral law of the Jews. 
And as the Jewish Rabbins employ themselves in 
collating, digesting, and explaining their ancient, 
traditions, by many of which they make the law 
of God of none effect, so also among the Moham 
medan divines, there are those who devote them 
selves to the business of expounding the Sonnah, 
as containing the sum of their theology, both 
speculative and practical. It was not without rea 
son, therefore, that the impostor was extremely 
anxious to have this marvellous recital cordially 
believed, or that he should have introduced the 
Most High in the Koran confirming the truth of 
his servant s asseverations. "By the star when it 
setteth, your companion Mohammed erreth not, nor 
is he led astray : neither doth he speak of his own 
will. It is no other than a revelation which hath 
been revealed unto him. The heart of Moham 
med did not falsely represent that which he saw. 
Will ye therefore dispute with him concerning that 
which he saw ?"* 

* Koran, cli. liii. 



An Embassy jsent to the Prophet from M< dma- ~ info a League 

withthnn Sends thither a .V -ary Antlir Ihjm 

to proffer him an Asylum in that City ///.* En encw th< ir 

Persecutions Determines to fly to Mniina -Iividt nt* on the 
way Makes a Sotonn Entry into the City Apostate Christians 
supposed to have joined in tendering him the Invitation. 

THE fame of Mohammed had now extended be 
yond the walls of his native town. While he was 
opposed, scorned, and derided at Mecca, his impu 
tation was growing, and his doctrines secretly 
spreading at Medina. This city, anciently known 
by the name of Yatreb, and lying at the northern 
extremity of the province of Hejaz, about seventy 
miles from Mecca, hud been distinguished by the 
early introduction of letters, arts, and science ; and 
its inhabitants, composed of pagan Arabs, here 
tical Christians, and Jews, were frequently desig 
nated as the people of the book. The two princi 
pal tribes which now had possession of the city 
were the Karejites and the Awsites, between 
whom a hereditary feud had long subsisted, and 
the disturbances occasioned by the rivalry of these 
two tribes were enhanced by the disputes of the 
religious factions, Jewish and Christian, which dis 
tracted all classes of citizens. It has been al 
ready observed that several of the inhabitants, in 
a pilgrimage to the Caaba, had been converted by 
the preaching of Mohammed, and that on their re- 



turn they had not been slothful in the propagation 
of their new sentiments. That they were both 
sincere and successful disciples of the prophet may 
be inferred from the fact, that on this year, the 
twelfth of the mission, called the accepted year^ 
twelve men came to Mecca, and took an oath of 
fidelity to Mohammed at Al Akaba, a hill on the 
north of that city. The amount of this oath was : 
" That they should renounce all idolatry ; that 
they should not steal nor commit fornication, nor 
kill their children, as the pagan Arabs used to do 
when they apprehended they should not be able to 
maintain them ; nor forge calumnies ; and that they 
should obey the prophet in every thing that was 
reasonable " When they had solemnly bound 
themselves to the conditions of the oath, Moham 
med sent one of his disciples, named Masab Ebn 
Omair, to instruct these men fully in the principles 
and practices of the new religion. Masab s mis 
sion was eminently successful. Among the prose 
lytes were Osaid Ebn Hodeira, a chief man of the 
city, and Saad Ebn Moadh, prince of the tribe of 
Aws ; and scarce a house in the city but numbered 
one or more converts. If the terms may be al 
lowed, the excitement was little short of a Mo 
hammedan revival. 

The next year, the thirteenth of the mission, 
Masab returned to Mecca accompanied by se 
venty-three men and two women who had pro 
fessed Islamism, besides several who were as yet 
unbelievers. The object of this deputation was 
to proffer to the apostle an asylum or any assist- 


ance in their power, as they had learned that, from 
the strength and malice of his adversaries, he 
stood in special need of auxiliaries. It was in 
fact a political association which was proposed to 
be Entered into, "in which we may perceive," says 
(lihbon, "the first vital spark of the empire of the 
Saracens." In this secret conference with the 
prophet, his kinsmen, and his disciples, vows of 
fealty and of mutual fidelity were pledged by the 
parties. The deputies from Medina promised, in 
the name of the city, that if he should he banished, 
they would "receive him as a confed< obey 
him as a leader, and defend him to the last extre 
mity, like their wives and children." " But if you 
are recalled to your country/ they asked, kk will 
you not abandon your new allies ?" " All thin; 
replied Mohammed. " are now common between 
us ; your blood is as my blood ; your ruin as my 
ruin. We are bound to each other by the ties of 
honour and interest. I am your friend and the 
enemy of your foes." " But if w r e are killed in 
your service, what will he our reward ?" " PARA- 

*F * 

DISK !" replied the confident apostle. This treaty 
was then ratified, and they separated, Mohammed 
having first chosen twelve out of their number, 
who were to have the same authority among them 
as the twelve apostles of Christ had among the 

Abu Sophyan succeeded Abu Taleb in the go 
vernment of Mecca, in w r hom Mohammed found a 
mortal enemy to his family, his religion, and him 
self. No sooner was he called to the head of the 


state than he determined to exterminate the apostle 
and his new-fangled heresy. A council of the 
Koreish and their allies was called, and the death 
of the impostor decided upon. It was agreed that 
a man should be chosen out of each of the con 
federated tribes for the execution of the project, and 
that each man should have a blow at him with his 
sword in order to divide the guilt of the deed, and 
to baffle the vengeance of the Hashemites ; as it 
was supposed that with their inferior strength they 
would not dare, in the face of this powerful union, 
to attempt to avenge their kinsman s blood. The 
prophet declared that the angel Gabriel had re 
vealed to him the atrocious conspiracy, to which 
he thus alludes some time afterwards : " And call 
to mind, when the unbelievers plotted against thee 
that they might either detain thee in bonds, or put 
thee to death, or expel thee the city ; and they 
plotted against thee ; but God laid a plot against 
them ; and God is the best layer of plots."* The 
heavenly minister, however, who disclosed the 
plot, pointed out no way of defeating it but by a 
speedy flight. Even this chance of safety had 
like to have been cut off through the vigilance of 
his enemies. He was indebted for his .escape to 
the devoted zeal of Ali, who wrapped himself in 
the green mantle of the prophet, and lying down 
upon his bed deceived .the assassins who had be 
sieged the house of his friend. Mohammed, in 
the mean time, in company with his faithful friend 

* Koranj ch. viii. 


Abubckcr, succeeded in irctiino safely out of the 
i ity, and in re;i<-liing a cave three miles distant, 
called the cave of Thor, where the two liiiritives 
concealed themselves three days from their pur 
suers. A tradition of his follower- Mates that the 
assassins, having arrived at the mouth of thr 
rave, were deceived l>y the nest of a pigeon made 
at its entrance, and by a web which a spider had 
fortunately woven across it. Believing this to be 
sufficient evidence that no human beinir was within, 
they desisted from all farther examination. The 
manifest tokens of divine protection vouchsafed 
to the prophet on this occasion, afforded him signal 
encouragement ever after, even in the entire des 
titution of human resources. " If ye -ist not 
tho prophet, verily God will assist him, as he 
sistcd him formerly, when the unbeliever! drove 
him out of Mecca, the second of two (i. e. having 
only Abubeker with him) ; when they were both 
in the cave ; when he said unto his companion, Be 
not grieved, for God is with us. And God sent 
down his security upon him, and strengthened him 
with armies whicli ye saw not."* Leaving the 
cave after the departure of their enemies, they 
made their way as rapidly as the perils of their 
ilijrht would permit towards the city of refuge, 
where they arrived sixteen days after leaving 
Mecca. Having halted at Koba, two miles from 
Medina, he was there met by five hundred of the 
citizens who had gone forth for the purpose, and 

* Koran, ch. ix. 


by whom his arrival was greeted with la cordial 
welcome. The prophet, having mounted a camel, 
with an umbrella spread over his head, and a tur 
ban unfurled instead of a banner,. made his public 
and solemn entry into the city, which was hereaf 
ter to be sanctified as the place of his throne. 
This flight of the apostle of Islamism, called in 
the Arabic tongue the HE JIRA, or more properly the 
HEJRA, has become the grand era of all the Mo 
hammedan nations, being employed by them for 
the same purposes as the year of our Saviour s 
birth is throughout the nations of Christendom. It 
took place A. D. 622, in the fifty-third year of the 
prophet s age. 

The waiting adherents of the messenger of 
truth, composed of those of his friends who had 
by his orders fled from Medea a short time before 
him, and the proselytes of Medina whom he had 
never seen, now flocked obsequiously about his 
person, and the distinction henceforth became es 
tablished among his followers, of the Mohajerins, 
or the companions of his flight, and the Ansars, or 
helpers ; familiar appellations for the fugitives of 
Mecca, and the auxiliaries of Medina. "As for 
the leaders and the first of the Mohajerin and the 
Ansars, and those who have followed them in well 
doing ; God is well pleased with them, and they 
are well pleased in him ; and he hath prepared 
them gardens watered by rivers ; they shall re 
main therein for ever ; this shall be great felicity." 

* Koran, ch. ix. 

LIFE OF Moimmr.D. 107 

At this distance of time it is not possible to de 
cide what class of citizens had the principal share 
in tendering this invitation to the prophet, and 
granting him such a ready reception. From the 
following passage, occurring in the first published 
chapter of the Koran after entering Medina, some 
writers have inferred that the nominal Christians 
of that city were the most active agents in intro 
ducing the impostor. " Thou shalt surely find the 
most violent of all men in enmity against the true 
believers to be the Jews and the idolaters (i. e. 
pagan Arabs); and thou shalt surely find IboftC 
among them to be the most inclinable to entertain 
friendship for the true believers who say, We are 
Christians. This cometh to pass because there 
are priests among them and monks, and because 
they are not elated with pride: and when they 
ir that which hath been sent down unto the 
apostle read unto them, thou shalt see their eyes 
I overflow witli tears because of the truth which 
they perceive therein ; saying, O Lord, we believe ; 
write us down therefore with those who bear wit 
ness to the truth : and what should hinder us from 
believing in God, and the truth which hath come 
unto us, and from earnestly desiring that our Lord 
would introduce us into paradise with the righteous 
people ?"* This is certainly important as a histo 
rical document, and if the inference drawn from it 
be correct, it affords a melancholy proof of the 
deep degeneracy of the eastern churches, that they 

* Koran, ch. iii. 


should be among the first to embrace the foul im 
posture. If that were the fact, it furnishes pal 
pable demonstration also, that when men have 
once began to swerve and deviate from the truth, 
no limits can be set to the degree of apostacy into 
which they are liable to fall. A fearful illustration 
is thus afforded of the law of the divine judg 
ments, that where men, under the cloak of a Chris 
tian profession, receive not the love of the truth, 
but have pleasure in unrighteousness, God shall 
send them strong delusion that they should believe 
a lie, and that too to their inevitable ruin. 



T7ic Prophet now raited to a hich Pitch 

A dinner m th? Tour of hi om- 

: nanded to fizhtfor t he true. > >n Hi* Jirst wnr-like .\ 

unsuccessful The Fmlun < -n/npt nxntcd intheSecoml -1 ! of 

the Kattli- of Bfdfr T: tory much boasttd of- in 

the Dti-nion of the Spoil Caab, a Jew, assassinated at the Inst . 
of the Prophet. 

FROM a fugitive Mohammed became a monarch. 
Vo sooner had he arrived at Medina than he ibund 
himself at the head of an army devoted to his 
person, obedient to his will, and blind believers in 
his holy office, Ho began at once to make ar 
rangements for a permanent settlement, and his 
first business, after giving his daughter Fatima in 
marriage to Ali, was to erect a dwelling house fm 
himself, and a temple or mosque, adjacent to his 
own residence, for a place of religious worship, in 
which he might publicly pray and preach before 
the people. For he now, in his own person, com 
bined the temporal and the religious power ; he 
was leader of. his army, judge of his people, and 
pastor of his flock. 

With the change of his fortunes, his doctrines 
began also to vary. Hitherto he lfa*l propagated 
his religion by the milder arts of arguments and 
entreaties, and his whole success before leaving 
Mecca is to be attributed solely to the effect of per 
suasion, and not of force. " Wherefore warn thy 



people ; for thou art a warner only : thou art not 
empowered to act with authority over them."* 
Up to the period of his flight, he had utterly 
disclaimed the use of any species of coercion in 
propagating, or of violence in defending, the prin 
ciples of his holy faith. In numerous passages of 
the Koran, published at Mecca, he expressly de 
clares that his business was only to preach and 
admonish ; that he had no authority to compel any 
one to embrace his religion ; and that whether 
people believed or disbelieved was no concern of 
his, but a matter that belonged solely to God. 
" We have also spoken unto thee, O Mohammed, 
by revelation, saying, Follow the religion of Abra 
ham, who was orthodox, and was no idolater. In 
vite men unto the way of thy Lord by wisdom and 
mild exhortation ; and dispute with them in the 
most condescending manner; for thy Lord well 
knoweth him who strayeth from his path, and he 
well knoweth those who are rightly directed. 
Wherefore do thou bear opposition with patience ; 
but thy patience shall not be practicable unless 
with God s assistance. And be not thou grieved 
on account of the unbelievers."! " Let there be 
no violence in religion."! Indeed, so far was he from 
allowing his followers to resort to violence, that he 
exhorted them to bear with meekness the injuries 
offered them on account of their faith, and when 
persecuted himself, chose rather to quit the place 
of his birth, and retire to a distant village than 

* Koran, ch, Ixxxviii. t Ch. xvi. ;f .Ch. ii. 


make any resistance. But this exemplary modera 
tion, continued lor the space of twelve years, 
seems to have heeii owing 1 altogether to his want 
of power, and the ascendem-\ <>1 his enemies; for 
no sooner was he enahled, hy the ,! iM;tnce of the 
men of Medina, to withstand his adversaries, than 
he suddenly "altered his voice," declaring that 
God had allowed him and his followers to defend 
themselves by human weapons against the infi 
dels ; and as his foices increased, he pietmdcd to 
have the divine permission to act upon the offensive 
also, to attack his foes, to root out idolatry at all 
hazards, and to urge the true faith at the point of 
the sword. " War is enjoined you against the in 
fidels."* " Fight, therefore, against the friends 
of Satan, for the stratagem of Satan is weak."-| 
" O true believers, take your necessary precaution 
against your enemies, and either go forth to war in 
separate parties, or go forth all together in a body."J 
And when the months wherein ye shall not be al 
lowed to attack them shall be past, kill the idola 
ters wherever ye shall find them, and take them 
prisoners, and besiege them, and lay wait for them 
in every convenient place." " When ye encoun 
ter the unbelievers, strike off their heads until ye 
have made a great slaughter among them ; and bind 
them in bonds ; and either give them a free dis 
mission afterward, or exact a ransom, until the 
war shall have laid down its arms."|| "Verily, 
God hath purchased of the true believers their 

* Koran, ch. ii. tCh. iv. J Ibid. 

$ ClL ix. jj Ch. xlvii. 


souls, and their substance, promising them the en 
joyment of paradise on condition that they fight 
for the cause of God : whether they slay or be 
slain, the promise for the same is assuredly due 
by the law, and the gospel, and the Koran."* This 
fierce, intolerant, and sanguinary spirit will be found 
to distinguish most of the chapters revealed at 
Medina, so that it can frequently be determined, 
from the tone and temper pervading it, without 
consulting the date, whether the portion was re 
vealed before or after the flight. The prophet s 
followers have faithfully acted up to the spirit of 
these precepts ; and the terrific announcement at 
tending the Moslem arms has been, " The Koran, 
death, or tribute !" Even to the present day, every 
other religious sect living under the government 
of Mohammedan nations is compelled to pay an 
annual tax as a mulct for their infidelity, and are 
sure to meet with persecution, if not with death, if 
they oppose or vilify any of the tenets of the holy 
prophet. Indeed, every thing like argument or 
controversy with the unbelievers, though not abso 
lutely forbidden, is far from being countenanced, as 
we may gather from the following precept to the 
prophet himself. " Let them not, therefore, dis 
pute with thee concerning this matter : but invite 
them unto thy Lord : for thou followest the right di 
rection. Bat if they enter into debate with thee, 
God well knoweth that which ye do : God will judge 
between you on the day of resurrection concerning 
that wherein ye now disagree."! 

* Koran, ch. ix. t Ch. xxiL 


The prophet was now enabled to put in opera 
tion a more effectual system of measures to com 
pass his great ends than he had hitherto had pow 
er to adopt. lie had he^uir to wield the vsword by 
divine commission, and lie was not disposed to let 
its potency r< -main improved. ^ et the first war 
like enterprise undertaken under the auspices of 
the martial apostle, an expedition denned to har- 
rass the Koreish, was unsuccessful. Having 
learned that a caravan, the property of the, hostile 
tribe, was on its way from Syria to Meera, he des 
patched his uncle 1 1 am/a, with a party of thirty 
horse to capture it. But the nearer approach of the 
caravan discovering to the assailants that it was 
guarded by a body of three hundred men, they 
deemed it prudent to forbear an attack, and to re 
turn quietly to Mecca. 

The shame of the prophet s failure on this oc 
casion was more than compensated by the success 
of his arms at the battle of Beder, so famous in 
the Mohammedan annals, which took place the en 
suing year. A rich caravan proceeding to Mecca, 
and guarded by Abu Sophyan with between thirty 
and forty men, tempted at once the revenge and the 
cupidity of Mohammed. The spies of the prophet 
informed liirn that their rich and apparently easy 
prey was within his grasp. He advanced with a 
few followers in pursuit of it ; but before he could 
overtake the unprotected band, Abu Sophyan had 
despatched a messenger to his brethren of Mecca 
for a reinforcement. Roused by the fear of losing 
their merchandise and their provisions, unless they 



hastened to his relief, a troop of nine hundred and 
fifty men, among whom were the chief persons of 
the city, instantly obeyed the summons. Moham 
med was posted between the caravan and the ap 
proaching succour with only three hundred and thir 
teen soldiers, mounted, for the most part, on ca 
mels. Of these, seventy-seven were fugitives, the 
rest auxiliaries. Undismayed by this disparity of 
force Mohammed determined to try the event of 
a battle, and risk his fortune, his reputation, and 
perhaps his life, upon the issue of the contest. 
The troops were persuaded to engage the superior 
forces of the enemy, abandoning for the present 
the tempting prize of Abu Sophyan s wealthy ca 
ravan. The prophet animated them by his prayers, 
and, in the name of the Most High, promised them 
certain victory. But however assured he might 
have been of divine assistance, he was careful to 
omit no human means of securing success. A 
slight entrenchment was formed to cover the flank 
of his troops, and a rivulet, flowing past the spot he 
had chosen for his encampment, furnished his army 
with a constant supply of water. When the enemy 
appeared descending from the hill, Mohammed, al 
luding to his own party, exclaimed, " O God, if these 
are destroyed, by whom wilt thou be worshipped on 
earth! Courage, my children, close your ranks, 
discharge your arrows, and the day is your own !" 
Before the armies, however, could engage, three 
combatants, Ali, Al Hareth, and Hamza, on the side 
of the Moslems, and three of the Koreish, joined in 
single combat. The Moslem champions were vie- 


torious, and thus gave to both armies a presage 
of the issue of the coming engagement. At the 
commencement of (ho battle, the prophet, together 
with Abubekcr, mounted a kind of throne or pulpit, 
earnestly asking of (iod the assistance of Gabriel 
with three thousand angels ; but when his army 
appeared to waver, he started from his place of 
prayer, threw himself upon a horse, and castin. 
handful of sand into the air, exclaiming, " Con- 
lusion fill their faces !" rushed upon the ene 
my. Fanaticism rendered his Ibllowers invincible. 
The forces of the Koreish were unable to break 
the ranks or to resist the furious chat of his 
confiding soldiers. They trembled and fled, leav 
ing seventy of their bravest men dead on the field, 
and seventy prisoners to grace the first victory of 
the faithful. Of the Moslems. <nty fourteen were 
slain, whose names have been handed down to pos 
terity, and enrolled among the list of martyrs, win 
memory the pious Mussulman i^ taught to cherish 
with devout veneration. The dead bodies of the 
Koreish were stripped, and with a sa\ a<je barbarity 
cast into a well ; two of the most obnoxious pri 
soners were punished with death, and the ransom 
of the others fixed at four thousand drams of sil 
ver. This sum would compensate, in a measure, 
for the escape of the booty ; for, notwithstanding 
the defeat, Abu Sophyan managed to effect a de 
cent retreat, and to arrive safely at Mecca with 
the greater part of the caravan. The spoils how 
ever arising from the ransom of the prisoners, and 
the partial plunder of the caravan, amounted to a 


considerable sum, the division of which had like to 
have proved fatal to the victors themselves. Foi 
of the two parties composing the prophet s army 
the Ansars, or auxiliaries, being the most nume 
rous, laid claim to the greatest share. The Moha* 
jerins, from being first in the faith, assumed equal, 
at least, if not superior, merit to that of their com 
rades, and a furious altercation ensued. Moham 
med, in order to put an end to the contention, 
feigned a seasonable revelation from Heaven, in 
which orders were given him to divide the booty 
equally, after having deducted a fifth part for the 
uses of the prophet, and certain specified purposes 
of charity. "In the name of the most merciful 
God : They will ask thee concerning the spoils : 
Answer, The division of the spoils belongeth unto 
God and the apostle ; therefore, fear God and com 
pose the matter amicably among you ; and obey 
God and his apostle, if ye be true believers." 
"Know that whenever ye gain any spoils, a fifth part 
thereof belongeth unto God and to the apostle, and 
his kindred, and the orphans, and the poor, and the 
traveller."* The part which the prophet adjudged 
to himself on this occasion, amounted to several 
thousand drams, or dirams, of silver ; how much 
of this sum he allotted to " the poor, the orphans, 
and the traveller," history gives us no intimation. 

The success of Mohammed, with his little band 
of devotees, at the battle of Beder, is frequently 
alluded to in the Koran in a style of self-satisfied 


LI1 I 01 >:<>HAM.Mi:D. 117 

vaunting ami triumph, and is often appealed to by 
his follow* - nothing less than a miraculous at 
testation of Cod himself in favour of the prophet. 
"Ye have already had t miracle shown yon in 
two armies which attacked each other: one army 
fnuirht lor God s true religion, but the other were 
inlidels ; they saw the faithful tuice as man\ 
themselves in their own ijrht; for God strength- 
eneth with his help whom he pleaseth."* 15< sides 
the miracle of the iniidel the Moslem army 

double to what it was, two others are said to li; 
been wrought on this memorable occasion. 1. 
The sand or gravel which Mohammed threw into 
the air is said to have been carried by the power 
of God with such force against the faces of the 
enemy tlytt they immediately turned their backs 
and fled. \nd ye i not those who were slain 
at Beder yourselves, but (iod >!ew them. Neither 
didst thou, O Mohammed, cast the gravel into their 
eves, when thou didst seem to cast it; but God 
cast it."f 2. We are also taught, that God sent 
down to the prophet s aid, first a thousand, and af 
terwards three thousand angels having their heads 
adorned with white and yellow s -, the ends of 
which hung down hi i\ adders; and 

that this troop of e , auxiliaries, borne upon 

black and white horses. ;:nd headed by Gabriel 
upon his steed Hiazum, really did all the execution in 
the defeat of the Koreish, though Mohammed s men 
fought bravely, and, until better instructed, gave the 
credit of the victory entirely to themselves. " And 

* Koran, ch. xii. t Ch. viii. 


God had already given you the victory at Beder, 
when ye were inferior in numbers ; therefore, fear 
God, that ye may be thankful. When thou saidst 
unto the faithful, Is it not enough for you, that your 
Lord should assist you with three thousand angels, 
sent down from Heaven. Verily, if ye persevere, 
and fear God, and your enemies come upon you sud 
denly, your Lord will assist you with five thousand 
angels, distinguished by their horses and attire."* 
The vindictive spirit of the prophet was strikingly 
evinced not long after this event by the assassination 
of Caab, the son of Al-Ashraf, a Jew. This man, 
having a genius for poetry, and being inveterately 
opposed to Mohammed, went to Mecca after the 
battle of Beder, and with a view to excite the Ko- 
reish to revenge, deplored in touching verses the 
unhappy fate of those of their brethren who had 
fallen while valiantly resisting a renegade prophet, 
with his band of marauders. He afterward returned 
to Medina, and had the hardihood to recite his 
poems to the people within the walls of that city. 
Mohammed was so exceedingly provoked by the 
audacity of the poet, who must, indeed, have been 
possessed of the highest phrensy of his tribe to 
promise himself impunity in these circumstances, 
that he exclaimed, " Who will deliver me from the 
son of Al-Ashraf?" A certain namesake of the 
prophet, Mohammed, the son of Mosalama, a ready 
tool of hia master, replied, " I, O prophet of God, 
will rid you of him." Caab was soon after mur 
dered while entertaining one of the apostle s fol 

* Koran, ch. ili. 



Afohammed alters the Kebla Many of his Followers greatly offended 
thereby Mohammedan I n*t/ fiction of Prayer Appoints tkc I 
Ramadan Account of this Ordinance. 

ON the second year of the Hejira, Mohammed 
altered the Kebla for his disciples, that is, the 
point of the compass towards which they were to 
direct their prayers. It was usual among the vota 
ries of all the religions of the East to observe some 
particular point in the heavens towards which they 
turned their faces when they prayed. The Jews, 
in whatever part of the world they chanced to be, 
prayed with their faces towards Jerusalem, the 
seat of their sacred temple ; the Arabians, towards 
Mecca, because there was the Caaba, the centre 
of their worship; the Sabians, towards the North 
Star; the Persians, who deified fire and light, to 
wards the East, where the Sun, the fountain of 
Light, arose. " Every sect," says the Koran, 
" have a certain tract of heaven to which they turn 
themselves in prayer."* Mohammed, when he 
first arrived in Medina, deeming the particular point 
itself a matter of perfect indifference, and with a 
view probably to ingratiate himself with the Jews, 
directed his disciples to pray towards Jerusalem, 
which he used to call the Holy City, the City of 

* Koran, eh. ii. 


the Prophets, and which he, at one time, intended 
to have made the grand seat of his worship, and 
the place of pilgrimage to his followers. But find 
ing the Jews too intractable, or that his other con 
verts still retained a superstitious regard for the 
temple of Mecca, for so many ages the place of 
idolatrous resort, and thinking it would tend to 
conciliate the inhabitants of that city, if he kept up 
the sanctity of their temple, he, at the end of six or 
seven months, repealed his former law regulating 
the Kebla, and thenceforward required all the faith 
ful to offer their supplications with their faces 
directed towards Mecca. Though not now in ac 
tual possession of that city, yet anticipating the time 
when it would be in the hands of Moslem masters, 
he fixed upon it as the future " holy city" of his 
followers. " From what place soever thou comest 
forth, turn thy face towards the holy temple ; and 
wherever ye be, thitherward turn your faces, lest 
men have matter of dispute against you."* This 
change was indeed an offence to many of his dis 
ciples, from its indicating a singular degree of 
fickleness in a professed prophet, and large num 
bers accordingly forsook him altogether on account 
of it. But his growing aversion to the Jews made 
him steadfast in the present alteration, to which he 
thus alludes in the Koran : " The foolish men 
will say, What hath turned them from their Kebla 
towards which they formerly prayed ? Say, Unto 
God belongeth the East and the West : he direct- 
eth whom he pleas eth in the right way."f " We 

* Koran, ch. ii. t Ibid. 


have seen thee turn about thy face towards heaven 
with uncertainty; but we will cause; thee tu turn 
thyself towards a Kebla that will please tli 
Turn therefore thy face towards the holy temple 
of Mecca; and, wherever ye be, turn your laces 
towards that place."* " Verily, although tlum 
shouldst show unto those to whom the Scripture 
hath been given all kinds of signs, yet they will 
not follow thy Kebla, neither shall thou follow their 
Krbla ; nor will one part of them follow the Kebla 
of the other."! The bearing or situation of Mecca, 
with its holy temple, from any particular region of 
the Mohammedan world, is pointed out within their 
mosques by a niche, which governs the direction 
of their faces ; and without, by the situation of the 
doors which open into the galleries of the mi 
narets. There are also tables calculated for the 
purpose of readily finding out their Kebla, when 
they have no other means of ascertaining the right 

No duty enjoined by the Mohammedan creed is 
more prominent than that of prayer. The prophet 
himself used to call prayer " the pillar of religion 
and the key of paradise," and to say that there 
could be no good in that religion which dispensed 
with it. He therefore prescribed to his followers 
five stated seasons in the space of twenty- four 
hours for the performance of their devotions. 1. 
In the morning, between daybreak and sunrise. 
2. Just after noon, when the sun begins to decline 
from the meridian. 3. At the middle hour between 

* Koran, ch. ii. 1 1bid. 


noon and sunset. 4. Between sunset and dark. 
5. An hour and a half after night has fully closed 
in. At these times, of which public notice is given 
by the muezzins, or criers, from the galleries of 
the minarets attached to the mosques for the Mo 
hammedans use no bells every conscientious 
Moslem engages in this solemn duty, either in a 
mosque, or by spreading his handkerchief, and 
kneeling in any clean place upon the ground. Such 
extreme sacredness do they attach to this part of 
worship, and with such intensity of spirit do they 
hold themselves bound to attend upon it, that the 
most pressing emergency, the bursting out of a fire 
in their chamber, or the sudden irruption of an 
armed enemy into their gates or camps is not con 
sidered a sufficient warrant for their abruptly break 
ing off their prayers. Nay, the very act of cough 
ing, spitting, sneezing, or rubbing their skin in 
consequence of a fly-bite, in the midst of their 
prayers, renders all the past null arid void, and 
obliges them to begin their devotions anew. In 
the act of prayer they make use of a great variety 
of postures and. gestures, such as putting their 
hands on.e on the other before them, bending their 
body, kneeling, touching the ground with their 
foreheads, moving the head from side to side, and 
several others, among which it is impossible to 
distinguish those enjoined by Mohammed himself 
from those which were common among the ancient 
Arab tribes before he arose. Still it is affirmed 

by travellers, that, notwithstanding the scrupulous 
preciseness of the Moslem devotions, no people 

LIFi: (> I MolI.YMMIiD. 123 

are more deeply tinctured with tin 4 pharisaical spirit 
of ostentation, or love better to pray in the nr,nk< t- 
places, and in the corners of the stn < s. that they 
may be seen of men, and obtain their pra: 
Among the Turks especially it is said that where 
ver they find the greatest concourse of special 
particularly if they be Christians, there they are 
ever sure to spread their handkerchiefs, whatever 
inconveniences may attend the location, and begin 
their adorations. In these petitions, a very promi 
nent object of request is, that God would grant the 
blessing of dissensions, wars, and tumults to be 
enkindled among Christians ; and the rumours of 
such joyful events are hailed as tokens of his gra 
cious answers to their prayers. . 

On the same year the prophet introduced into 
his religion the holy fast of Ramadan, or Rama- 
zan, so called from its being continued through the 
whole of this month, which is the ninth in the or 
der of the months of the Arabic year. Of this 
duty Mohammed used to say, it was " the gate of 
religion," and that " the odour of the mouth of him 
who fasted is more grateful to God than that of 
musk." An acceptable fast, according to the Mos 
lem doctrine, includes abstinence from food, the 
restraining all the senses and members from their 
accustomed gratifications, and the withdrawment 
of the thoughts from every thing but God. The 
institution is thus announced in the Koran : " O 
true believers, a fast is ordained you, as it was or 
dained unto those before you, that ye may fear 
God. A certain number of days shall ye fast - 


but he among you who shall be sick, or on a jour 
ney, shall fast an equal number of other days. 
And those who can keep it and do not, must re 
deem their neglect by maintaining of a poor man. 
But if ye fast, it will be better for you, if ye knew 
it. The month of Eamadan shall ye fast, in which 
the Koran was sent down from Heaven, a direction 
unto men."* By the law of their religion, there 
fore, the disciples of Islam are required to fast, 
while the sun is above the horizon, during the en 
tire month of Ramadan, from the time the new 
moon first appears, till the appearance of the next 
new moon. Throughout that period they abstain 
wholly from the pleasures of the table, the pipe, 
and the harem ; they neither eat, drink, nor receive 
any thing into their mouths during the day, till the 
evening lamps, hung around the minarets, are 
lighted by the Imam, or priest of the mosque, when 
they are released from the obligations of abstinence. 
They then give themselves, without restraint, to the 
pleasures of the palate, and compensate in full mea 
sure for the penance of the day by the indulgence 
of the night. This is continued, according to the 
law of the prophet, " till they can plainly distin 
guish a white thread from a black thread by the 
daybreak,"! when the season of self-denial com- 
m^nces again for the ensuing day. As most of 
thr- Mohammedans, however, are not too scrupu 
lous to quell the annoyance of appetite by sleeping 
away the hours of the day, the observance of the 

* Koran, ch. ii. flbid. 

Lin: or >IOHA.M.>II-:I>. 125 

fast of Ramadan is little more than turninnr day into 
night, and night into day. As the Arabic year is 
lunar, each month in a period of thirty-three yean, 
falls into all the different seasons of the solar year, 
and consequently the observance of the fast, when 
the month of Ramadan occurs in summer, is ren 
dered, by the length and heat of the days, < \- 
tremely rigorous and trying ; especially as the poor 
are still compelled to labour during the day ; and 
yet are forbidden, upon pain of death, to assuage 
their thirst by a drop of water. 

L 2 




-, ^ ; 

The Koreish undertake a new Expedition against the Prophet The 
Battle of Ohod Mohammad and his Army entirely defeated His fol 
lowers murmur The Prophet s poor devices to retrieve the disgrace 
incurred in this action Resolves it mainly into the doctrine of Pre 
destination Wine and Games of chance forlidden Sophyan, son 
of Caledj slain War of the Ditch. 

THE resentment of Abu Sophyan and the citi 
zens of Mecca, for the loss and the disgrace sus 
tained the preceding year, stimulated them to un 
dertake a new expedition against the warlike apos 
tle. The Koreish accordingly assembled an army 
of three thousand men under the command of Abu 
Sophyan, and proceeded to besiege their enemy in 
the city of Medina. Mohammed, being much in 
ferior in numbers to the invading army, determined 
at first to await and receive their attack within the 
walls of the city. But the ardour of his men, en 
kindled by the recollection of their former success, 
could not brook restraint ; they clamorously de 
manded to be led out to battle; and he unwisely 
yielded to their request. Impelled, also, himself, 
by the same spirit of rash confidence, he unwarily 
promised them certain victory. The prophetic 
powers of the apostle were to be estimated by the 
event. Mohammed, in every encounter, seems to 
have manifested, in a high degree, the talents of a 
general. In the present instance his army, con- 

Lli MOIIAMMI.I . 127 

sistingof about one thousand men, was advantage 
ously posted on tin 1 declivity of the mountain 
Ohod, lour miles to the north of Medina. Three 
standards were confided each one to a separate 
tribe, while the great standard was earned before 
the prophet, and a chosen band of fifty arch 
were stationed in the rear, witb peremptory on! 
to remain there till commanded to the attack 
by Mohammed himself. The Koreish advanced 
in the form of a crescent ; Caled, the fiercest of 
the Arabian warriors, led the right wing of the ca 
valry ; while Hinda, the wife of Abu Sophyan, ac 
companied by fifteen matrons of Mecca, inces 
santly sounded timbrels to animate the troops to 
the approaching conflict. The action commenced 
by the Moslems chariring down the hill, and break 
ing through the enemy s ranks. Victory or para 
dise was the reward promised by Mohammed to 
his soldiers, and they strove with frantic enthusi 
asm to gain the expected recompense. The line 
of the enemy was quickly disordered, and an easy 
victory seemed about to crown the spirit and valour 
of the Moslem troops. At this moment, the arch 
ers in the rear, impelled by the hope of plunder, 
deserted their station and scattered themselves over 
the field. The intrepid Caled, seizing the favour 
able opportunity, wheeled his cavalry on their flank 
and rear, and exclaiming aloud, " Mohammed is 
slain!" charged with such fury upon the disordered 
ranks of the Moslems, as speedily to turn the fate 
of the day. The flying report of the death of their 
leader so dispirited the faithful, that they gave way 


in every direction, and the rout soon became gene 
ral. Mohammed endeavoured in vain to rally his 
broken troops ; he fought with desperate valour ; 
exposed his person where the danger appeared 
greatest ; was wounded in the face by a javelin ; 
had two of his teeth shattered by a stone ; was 
thrown from his horse ; and would in all probabi 
lity have been slain, but for the determined bra 
very of a few chosen adherents, who rescued their 
leader from the throng, and bore him away to a 
place of safety. The day was utterly lost; se 
venty of his soldiers were slain, among whom was 
his uncle Hamza ; and his reputation as a prophet 
and apostle was in imminent peril. His followers 
murmured at the disastrous issue of the conflict, 
and had the hardihood to affirm that the prophet 
had deceived them ; that the will of the Lord had 
not been revealed to him, since his confident pre 
diction of success had been followed by a signal 
defeat. The prophet, on the other hand, threw the 
blame on the sins of the people ; the anger of the 
Lord had fallen upon them in consequence of an 
overweening conceit of their security, and because 
he had determined to make trial of their sincerity. 
" After a misfortune hath befkllen you at Ohod, do 
ye say, Whence cometh this? Answer, This is 
from yourselves : for God is almighty, and what 
happened unto you was certainly by the permis 
sion of God, that he might know the faithful and 

that he might know the ungodly.- And we 

cause these days of different success interchange 
ably to succeed each other among men, that God 


might prove those who believe, and might destroy 
the infidels. Did ye imainne that ye should enter 
paradise, when as yd (<><! kne\v not those -among 
you who fought strenuously in his cause ; nor knew 
those who persevered with patience ? Verily, they 
among you who tinned their hacks on the day 
whereon the two armies met each other at Ohod, 
Satan caused them to slip for some crime \\ hich 
they had committed."* In order to stille the mur 
murs of those who were overwhelmed with grid 
at the loss of their friends and relatives, lie repi 
sented to them, that the time of every man s death 
is distinctly fixed by the divine decree, and that 
those who fell in battle could not have avoided 
their predetermined fate even if they had staid at 
home ; w r hereas now they had obtained the glo 
rious privilege of dying martyrs for the faith, and 
were consequently translated to the bliss of para 
dise. " O true believers, be not as they who be 
lieve not, and said of their brethren when they 
had journeyed in the land, or had been at war, 
If they had been, with us, those had not died, nor 
had these-been slain : whereas, what befell them 
was so ordained. No soul can die unless by the 
permission of God, according to what is written in 
the book containing the determination of things. 
Thou shall in no wise reckon those who have been 
slain at Ohod, in the cause of God, dead : nay, 
they are sustained alive with their Lord, rejoicing 
for what God of his favour hath granted them."t 
With these miserable evasions did he excuse the 

* Koran, cli. iii. 


falsehood of his prediction, and salve over the 
ignominy of his defeat. This doctrine of fatalism 
however took a deep root among his followers, and 
to this day the Mohammedans are the most stre 
nuous sticklers of any people on earth for the doc 
trine of absolute unconditional predestination. 
" No accident," saith the Koran, " happeneth in the 
earth, nor in your persons, but the same was en 
tered in the book of our decrees, before we cre 
ated it."* >: ; - " ; . : ;v 

Abu Sophy an, for reasons now inexplicable, did 
not pursue the advantages he had gained on this 
occasion. He merely gave the prophet a chal 
lenge to meet him again in the field on the ensu 
ing year, which was readily accepted, although 
somewhat more than a year elapsed before the 
actual renewal of hostilities. 

* " We had at the same time the following striking instance of the 
frivolous appeals to the Deity among the Mohammedans. A man went 
round the caravan, crying with a loud voice, In the name of God, the 
just, the merciful. My cup is gone from me : it disappeared while I 
prayed at sunset (and may God grant my evening prayer). To whoever 
may find the same, may God lengthen out his life, may God augment 
his pleasures, and may God bring down affairs of business on his head ! 
This pompous appeal to Heaven, and prayers for good fortune to the 
finder of the missing utensil, were all powerless, however, in their 
effect. The lost cup was not found ; and the consolation then assumed 
was, God knows where it is gone ; but it was written in heaven from of 
old? " Buckingham s Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. i. p. 281, Lond. 182t. 

" While this was going on, the author of our calamity [a vessel had 
been run aground] was pacing the deck, the picture of terror and inde 
cision, calling aloud on Mohammed to assist us out of the danger. His 
fears were not much lessened by the threats thrown out by each passing 
tar. I say, Jack/ said one of them, " we 11 string you up for this ; 
making his observation intelligible, by pointing with one hand to the 
yard-arm, and with the other to the neck of his auditor, at the same 
time imitating the convulsive guggle of strangulation. When called 
to account for his obstinacy, the pilot gave us an answer in the true 
spirit of (Mohammedan) predestination; l lfit is God s pleasure that 
the ship should go ashore, what business is it of mine ? " KeppeCs Jour 
ney from India to England, in 1824, p. 33. 


About this time, or in the fourth year of the 
Hejira (A. D. 626), Mohammed prohibited the use 
of wine and of games of chance to his follow (is. 
"They will ask thee of wine and lots. Answer, 
In both these there is great sin, and also some 
things of use unto men ; hut their sinfulness is 
greater than their use."* The occasion of this 
prohibition seems to have been the prophet s wit 
nessing their bad effects in producing discord and 
broils among his disciples. "O true believers, 
wine and games of chance are an abomination, of 
the work of Satan ; therefore avoid them, that ye 
may prosper. Satan seeketh to sow dissension and 
hatred among you by means of wine and lots, and 
to divert you from remembering God, and iroin 
prayer ; will ye not, therefore, abstain from them ?" 
The sins of the past, arising from this source, are 
graciously remitted on condition of future amend 
ment. "In those who believe and do good works, 
it is no sin that they have tasted wine or gaming 
before they were forbidden ; if they fear God and 
believe, and do good works, and shall for the future 
fear God and believe, and shall persevere to fear 
him and to do good. Obey God, and obey the 
apostle, and take heed to yourselves : but if ye 
turn back, know that the duty of our apostle is 
only to preach publicly."! Under wine are com 
prehended also all kinds of strong and inebriating 
liquors ; and though Mussulmans of lax and liber 
tine principles, and many such there are, will indulge 
themselves with the forbidden beverage, yet the 

* Koran, ch. ii. f Ch. v. 


more conscientious scrupulously avoid it, and not 
only hold it criminal to taste of wine, but also to 
press grapes for the making of it, to buy or to sell 
it, or even to maintain themselves with the money 
arising from the sale of it. 

Another act of blood stains the fame of Mo 
hammed in this part of his history. Being in 
formed that Sophy an, the son of Caled, was col 
lecting men for the purpose of attacking him, he 
ordered Abdallah, the son of Onai s, surnamed 
Dhul-Malldhrat, that is, a man ready to undertake 
any thing, to assassinate his designing foe. Ab 
dallah obeyed the prophet s command, and mur 
dered Sophyan in the valley of Orsa. He imme 
diately returned to Mohammed, who, upon hear 
ing the success of the enterprise, gave him as a 
token of his friendship the cane with which he usu 
ally walked. 

In the fifth year of the Hejira occurred the war 
of the ditch, or, as it is otherwise termed, the war 
of the nations ; which, but for peculiar circum 
stances, would probably have resulted in the entire 
overthrow of the impostor. The Koreish, in con 
junction with a number of the neighbouring tribes 
or nations, many of .whom were Jews, assembled 
an army of ten thousand men, and making common 
cause against the grand adversary of their ancient 
religion, advanced to the siege of Medina. On 
their approach, Mohammed, by the advice of So- 
liman, or Salman, the Persian,* ordered a deep 

* This Soliman, otherwise called Suleiman Pauk (i.e. the Pure), has 
a celebrated tomb erected to his memory near the ruins of the ancient 


ditch, Or intrcnchment, to be dug around the city 
for its security, behind which he remained fortified 
for near a month. During this period, no oth- r 
acts of hostility occurred than a few ineffectual 
attempts to annoy each other by shooting arro 
and slinging stones. In the mean time, tradition 
says, the prophet was busily employed by his aits 
and emissaries, in corrupting and bringing over to 
!ns interest the leading men among the enemy. 
Having succeeded with several, he employed them 
in sowing dissensions among the rest; so that at 
length the camp of the confederates was torn to 
pieces with divisions, and one party breaking off 
after another, nearly the whole army was finally 
dissipated, and the little remnant that remained 
thrown into confusion and made powerless by the 
direct visitation of an angry God. For while they 

Ctesiphon, on the Tigris. It is among the prominent objects of curi 
osity to modern travellers to the East. "From the ruins we went to 
the tomb of Suleiman Pauk, whose name has superseded that of the 
builder of this magnificent pile, in -jiving a name lo the district. Tbe 
tomb is a small building with a dome ; the interior, to which they 
allowed us access, on our pulling off our sho ornamented with 

arabesque arches, and the surrounding enclosure was used as a cara 
vanserai." KeppeUs Journey, p. 82. 

"After traversing a space within the walls sin- wed with fragments 
of burnt brick and pottery, we came in about half an hour to the tomb 
of Selman Pauk, which is within a short distance of the ruined palace 
ofChosroes. We found here a very comfortable and secure retreat, 
within a high-walled enclosure of about a hundred paces square, in the 
centre of which rose the tomb of the celebrated favourite of Mohammed. 
This Selman Pauk, or Selman the Pure, was a Persian barber, who, 
from the fire-worship of his ancestors, became a convert to Islam, 
under the persuasive eloquence of the great prophet of Medina himself; 
and after a life of fidelity to the cause he had embraced, was buried here 
in his native city of Modain (Ctesiphon). The memory of this beloved 
companion of the great head of their faith is held in great respect by all 
the Mohammedans of the country ; for, besides the annual feast of the 
barbers of Bagdad, who, in the month of April visit his tomb as that of 
a patron saint, there are others who come to it on pilgrimage at all sea- 
eons of the year." Buckingham s Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. 2, 



lay encamped about the city, a remarkable tem 
pest, supernaturally excited, benumbed the limbs 
of the besiegers, blew dust in their faces, extin 
guished their fires, overturned their tents, and put 
their horses in disorder. The angels, moreover, 
co-operated with the elements in discomfiting the 
enemy, and by crying "ALLAH ACBAR!" (God is 
great !) as their invisible legions surrounded the 
camp, struck them with such a panic, that they 
were glad to escape with their lives. 

The prophet was not insensible to the marks 01 
the divine favour vouchsafed him in these illus 
trious prodigies, nor did he fail to hold them up to 
the consolation of his followers on subsequent 
occasions. " O true believers, remember the fa 
vour of God towards you, when armies of infidels 
came against you, and we sent against them a wind, 
and hosts of angels which ye saw not."* But, to 
whatever it were owing, whether to human or hea 
venly agency, it is certain that from this time the 
Koreish gave up all hopes of putting an end to the 
growing power and spreading conquests of Mo 
hammed. They henceforth undertook no more 
expeditions against him. 

* Koran, ch. xxxiii. 



The Jews the special objects of Mohammed s Enmity Sei^eral Tribes of 
them reduced to Subjection / ndfrtakes a Pilgrimage to Mecca 
The Meccans conclude a Truce with him of ten years His Power 
and Authority greatly mcreasnl Has a Pulpit constructed for his 
Mosque Goes against Chaibar, a City of the Arab Jews Besieges 
and takes the City, but is poisoned at an Enttrtuinment by a young 
Woman /* still able to prosecute his Victories. 

WHATEVER might have been the prophet s early 
reverence for the city of Jerusalem, and his friend 
ship towards the Jews, who, together with the sons 
of Ishmael, claimed in Abraham a common father, 
their obstinacy converted his favour into impla 
cable hatred ; and to the last moment of his life 
he pursued that unfortunate people with a rigour 
of persecution unparalleled in his treatment of 
other nations. The Jewish tribes of Kainoka, Ko- 
raidha, and the Nadhirites, lying in the vicinity of 
Medina, were singled out as the next objects of his 
warlike attempts ; and as they fell an easy prey 
to the power of his arms, spoliation, banishment, 
and death were the several punishments to which 
he adjudged them, according to the grade of their 
crime in rejecting a prophet or opposing a con 

Our intended limits will not permit us to enu 
merate the various battles fought by Mohammed 
during the five succeeding years. Suffice it to 


say, that, according to the computation of some of 
his biographers, no less than twenty-seven expedi 
tions were undertaken, in which he commanded 
personally, and in which nine pitched battles were 
fought. The heart sickens in following a pro 
fessed messenger and apostle of God from one 
scene of blood and carnage to another, making the 
pretences of religion a cloak to cover the most un 
bounded ambition and the vilest sensuality. A 
mind untrained to a deep sense of the purity and 
peaceableness of the religion of Jesus may be daz 
zled by the glare of a tide of victories, and lose its 
detestation of the impostor in admiring the success 
of the conqueror. But to one who feels the force 
of Christian principles, no relief is afforded by the 
view of arduous battles won, of sieges undertaken, 
or of cities sacked or subjected, by the prowess of 
a leader whose career is stained like that of the 
founder of Islam. 

One or two subsequent expeditions, however, are 
too important in the prophet s history to be passed 
over without notice. In the sixth year of the 
Hejira, with fourteen hundred men, he undertook 
what he declared to be a peaceful pilgrimage to 
the holy temple of Mecca. The inhabitants were 
jealous of his intentions; and while he halted 
several days at Hodeibiya, from whence he des 
patched an emissary to announce his intention, 
they came to a determination to refuse him admit 
tance, and sent him word, that if he entered the 
city, it must be by forcing his way at the point of 
the sword. Upon this intelligence, the warlike 


pilgrim called his men together, and it was resolved 
to attack the city. The Meccans, in the mean 
time, having more accurately measured their 
strength, or estimated their policy, and having been, 
besides, somewhat wrought upon by an unex 
pected act of clemency on the part of Mohammed, 
in pardoning and dismissing eighty prisoners of their 
fellow-citizens, who had fallen into his hands, 
altered purpose of resistance, and sent an 
ambassador to his camp to confer upon terms of 
peace. Some umbrage was given to the Moslems 
by the facility with which their leader waived the 
title of Apostle of God,* but the result was the 
concluding of a truce of ten years, in which it was 
stipulated, that the prophet and his followers should 
have free access to the city and temple whenever 
they pleased, during the period of the truce, pro 
vided they came unarmed as befitted pilgrims, and 
remained not above three days at a time. In the 
48th chapter of the Koran, entitled " The Victory," 
the prophet thus alludes to the events of this ex 
pedition ; " If the unbelieving Meccans had fought 
against you, verily they had turned their backs ; 
and they would not have found a patron or pro 
tector ; according to the ordinance of God, which 
hath been put in execution heretofore against the 

* "In wording the treaty, when the prophet ordered AH to begin with 
the form, In the name of the most merciful God, they (the Meccans) 
objected to it, and insisted that he should begin with this, In thy name, 
O God ; which Mohammed submitted to, and proceeded to dictate : These 
are the conditions on which Mohammed, the apostle of God, has made 
peace with those of Mecca. To this Sohail again objected, saying, If we 
had acknowledged thee to be the apostle of God, we had not given thee 
any opposition. Whereupon Mohammed ordered Ali to write as Sohail 
desired, These are the conditions which Mohammed, the son ofAbdal- 
be. Sale s Koran, vol. 2 p. 384, note. 



opposers of the prophets. It was he who re 
strained their hands from you, and your hands 
from them, in the valley of Mecca." The entrance 
into Mecca on this occasion is vaunted of by the 
apostle as the fulfilment of a prophetic dream. 
" Now hath God in truth verified unto his apostle 
the vision, wherein he said, Ye shall surely enter 
the holy temple of Mecca, if God please, in full 

This event tended greatly to confirm the power 
of Mohammed ; and not long after, he was solemnly 
inaugurated and invested with the authority of a 
king by his principal men. With the royal dignity 
he associated that of supreme pontiff of his reli 
gion, and thus became at once the king and priest 
of his Moslem followers, whose numbers had by 
this time swelled to a large amount. So intense 
had their devotion to their leader now become, that 
even a hair that had dropped from his head, and 
the water in which he washed himself, were care 
fully collected and preserved, as partaking of 
superhuman virtue. A deputy, sent from another 
city of Arabia to Medina to treat with the prophet, 
beheld with astonishment the blind and unbounded 
veneration of his votaries. " I have seen," said 
he, " the Chosroes of Persia, and the Caesar of 
Rome, but never did I behold a king among his 
subjects like Mohammed among his companions." 

With this new addition to his nominal authority, 
he began to assume more of the pomp and parade 
due to his rank. After the erection of the mosque 
at Medina, in which the prophet himself officiated 


as loader of worship, ho had tor ;i long time no other 
< nnxonience in the way of stand, desk, or pulpit, 
than the trunk oi a palm-tree lixcd perpendicularly 
in the ground, on the top oi which he was accus 
tomed to lean while prrachii This was now 
he come too mean an accommodation, and by the 
advice of one of his wives he caused a pulpit to 
be constructed, with a seat and two steps ;itt;i< -I 
to it, which he henceforth made use of instead <>f 
the "beam." The beam, however, was loath to 
be deprived of its honour, and the dealers in the 
marvellous among his followers say, that it gave 
an audible groan of regret when the prophet left 
it. Othman Ebn Affan, when he became Caliph, 
hung this pulpit with tapestry, and Moawiyah, an 
other Caliph, raised it to a greater height hy add 
ing six steps more, in imitation, doubtless, of the 
ivory throne of Solomon, and in this form it is 
said to be preserved and shown at the present d;i\ , 
as a holy relic, in the mosque of Medina. 

This year he led his army against Chaibar, a 
city inhabited by Arab Jews, who offering him a 
manly resistance, he laid siege to the place and 
carried it by storm. A great miracle is here said 
to have been performed by Ali, surnamed "The Lion 
of God." A ponderous gate, which eight men after 
ward tried in vain to lift from the ground, was 
torn by him from its hinges, and used as a buck 
ler during the assault !* Mohammed, on entering 

* " Abu Rafe, the servant of Mohammed, is said to have affirmed that 
he was an eye-witness of the fact; but who will be witness for Abu 
RaleF Gibbon,. 


the town, took up his quarters at the house of 
Hareth, one of the principal inhabitants, and here 
met with a reception which eventually cost him 
his life. Zeinab, the daughter of Hareth, while 
preparing a meal for the conqueror and his attend 
ants, inserted a quantity of poison into a shoulder 
of mutton which was served up at the table. Ba- 
shar, a companion of Mohammed, had scarcely 
began to eat of it, before he was seized with con 
vulsions, and died upon the spot. Mohammed, by 
spitting out the greatest part of what he had taken 
into his mouth, escaped immediate death, but the 
effects of the fatal drug had entered his system, and, 
resisting every effort of medicine to expel or counter 
act it, in somewhat more than three years afterward 
it brought him to his end. If, as the reporters of 
Mohammed s miracles affirm, the shoulder of mut 
ton informed the prophet of its being poisoned, it 
is certain the intelligence came too late. The 
seeds of death were henceforth effectually sown 
in his constitution ; and his own decline ever after 
kept pace with his growing power. When Zeinab 
was asked, how she had dared to perpetrate a 
deed of such unparalleled enormity, she is said to 
have answered, " that she was determined to make 
trial of his powers as a prophet : if he were a true 
prophet," said she, " he would know that the meat 
was poisoned ; if not, it would be a favour to the 
world to rid it of such a tyrant." It is not agreed 
among the Mohammedan writers what was the 
punishment inflicted upon this second Jael, or 
whether she suffered any. Some affirm that she 
was pardoned ; others that she was put to death. 

Lin. OF .MOiMM.MKD. 141 

The progir^ ,>f the prophci s disease was not 
such as to prevent him from prosecuting that suc 
cessful course of conquests in which he was now 
engaged. The Jews, the constant objects of his 
vengeance, again tempted his victorious sword. 
He proceeded against Bedcr, Watiba, and Selalin 
places which he brought under subjection, permit 
ting their inhabitants to retain possession on con 
dition of paying him one half the product of their 
date-trees as an annual tribute. On these terms 
they remained undisturbed in their towns and vil 
lages during the lifetime of the prophet ; till at 
length, in the reign of Omar, who pretended that 
Mohammed in his last sickness had -m u him a 
charge not to permit two religions to coexist in 
Arabia, they were all expelled from their ancient 



Mohammed alleges a Breach of Faith on the part of the Meccans, and 
marches an Army against them The City surrendered to the Con 
queror Abu Sophyan and Al Abbas, the Prophet s Uncle, declare 
themselves Converts Mecca declared to be Holy Ground The neigh 
bouring Tribes collect an Army of four thousand men to arrest the 
growing power of the Prophet ThejConfederates entirely overthrown 
A rival Prophet arises in the person of Moseilama 7* crushed 
by Caled, 

Two years had scarcely elapsed when Moham 
med accused the Meccans of violating the truce, 
and made their alleged breach of faith a pretence 
for summoning an army of ten thousand men with 
a design to make himself master of the city. He 
was now strong, and his enemies were weak. His 
superstitious reverence for the city of his birth, 
and the temple it contained, served to influence his 
determination for war. The time since the con 
cluding of the truce had been skilfully employed 
in seducing the adherents of the Koreish, and con 
verting to his religion, or enticing under his stand 
ard, the chief citizens of Mecca. By forced 
marches he urged his large army rapidly towards 
the city, and so unexpectedly was the place invested 
by the Moslem troops, that they had scarcely time 
to put themselves in a posture of defence before 
they were driven to such extremities, that the sur 
render of the city at discretion, or total destruction, 
seemed to be the only alternative. In these ci: 


cumstances the former step was resolved upon, 
humiliating as it was, and Abu Sophyan, the former 
inveterate enemy of Mohammed and his religion, 
accompanied by Al Abbas, an uncle of the impos 
tor, came forth and presented the keys of the city 
to the conqueror. Nor was this all: they both 
crowned their submission by bowing to the pro 
phetic claims of their new master, and acknowledg 
ing him as the apostle of God. This we may 
suppose was a constrained admission, made under 
the uplifted scimitar of the furious Omar, and 
yielded as the price of life. Mohammed, though 
a conqueror and an impostor, was not habitually 
cruel ; his anger was directed rather against the 
gods of his country, than its inhabitant The 
chiefs of the Koreish prostrated themselves before 
him, and earnestly demanded mercy at his hands. 
u What mercy can you expect from the man you 
have wronged?" exclaimed the prophet. " We 
confide in the generosity of our kinsman." " You 
shall not confide in vain," was the generous or 
politic reply of Mohammed. " Be gone ; you are 
safe ; you are free." They were thenceforth left 
unmolested, and places of honour and trust were 
still confided to them. Oh his entry into the city, 
of which he had now made himself absolute mas 
ter with the sacrifice of only three men and two 
women, whom he ordered to be executed, he pro 
ceeded to purge the Caaba of its three hundred 
and sixty idols, and to consecrate that temple anew 
to the purposes of his religion. The apostle 
again fulfilled the duties of a pilgrim, and a per- 


petual law was enacted, that no unbeliever should 
dare to set his foot on the territory of the holy 
city. On the day on which the prophet entered 
Mecca in triumph, he ordered Belal, his crier, to 
mount to the top of the temple at noon, and from 
thence to call the people to prayer for the first 
time under the new institution. This custom has 
been religiously observed in Mohammedan coun 
tries from that day to the present ; the crier, who 
is called muezzin, still giving the people notice of 
the hour of prayer from the minarets of their 

When the news of the conquest of Mecca 
reached the neighbouring tribes of Arabs, the Ha- 
wazins, Takifians, and others, hastily assembled a 
force amounting to about four thousand men, with 
the design of crushing the usurper before his dan 
gerous power had attained to any greater height. 
Mohammed, appointing a temporary governor of 
the city, marched out with an army of no less 
than twelve thousand men, and met the enemy in 
the valley of Honein, three miles from Mecca, on 
the way to Tayef. The Moslems, seeing them 
selves so vastly superior in point of numbers, were 
inspired with a presumptuous confidence of victory, 
which had like to have resulted in their ruin. In 
the first encounter, the confederates rushed upon 
the faithful with such desperate valour, that they 
put nearly the whole army to flight, many of them 
retreating back to the walls of Mecca itself. Mo 
hammed, mounted on a white mule, with a few of 
his faithful followers at his side, boldly maintained 


his ground; and such was his ardour in this crisis 
of the conflict, that it \v,is hy main force that one 
of his uncles and a cousin, layinir hold of his 
bridle and sthrup, restrained him from rushing 
alone into the midst of the enemy. " O my bre 
thren," he exclaimed, " I am the son of Ahdallah ! 
I am the apostle of truth ! O men, stand fa>t in 
the faith ! () God, send down thy sureou. II 

uncle Abbas, who possessed a stentorian voice, 
exertinir the utmost strength of his lunirs, recalled 
the flying troops, and gradually rallied them 
a IT: tin around the holy standard ; on which tin 1 pro 
phet, observing with pleasure " that the furnace 
was rekindled," charged with new vigour the ranks 
of the infidels and idolaters, and dually succeeded 
in obtaining a complete victory, though not, aa ap 
pears from the Koran, without the special ;^-ist* 
ance of angels The giving way in the firs! in 
stance was a mark of the Divine displeasure against 
the Moslems for their overweening Confidence in 
their superior numbers. " Now hath God assisted 
you in many engagements, and particularly at the 
battle of Honein; when ye pleased yourselves in 
your multitudes, but it was no manner of ad van* 
tage unto you ; the earth seemed to be too narrow 
in your precipitate flight : then did ye retreat and 
turn your backs. Afterward God sent down his 
security upon his apostle and upon the faithful, and 
troops of angels which ye saw not."* 

The remaining part of the year was spent iri 
demolishing the temples and idols of the subject 

* Koran, ch. ix. 



Arabs. Saad, Caled, and others of his Moslem 
chieftains were despatched in various directions over 
the conquered provinces with orders to wage a war 
of extermination against the idols of the ancient su 
perstition. This pious crusade was crowned with 
the conversion of many idolaters, as well as with 
the destruction of the " lying vanities" of their 
worship, and it is not strange that they should 
have admitted the doctrine of the divine unity, 
when the destroying sword of the apostle had cut 
off all gods but one. 

The prophet having now become in fact the so 
vereign of Arabia, he began, m the ninth year of 
the Hejira, to meditate the conquest of Syria. 
He did not live fully to accomplish this design, 
which was executed by his successors ; but he en 
tered upon it, and notwithstanding the expedition 
was undertaken in the heat of the summer, and 
the scarcity of water subjected his men to almost 
intolerable sufferings, yet he succeeded in obtain 
ing possession of Tabuc, a town on the confines of 
the Greek empire, from whence he made a victo 
rious descent upon the adjacent territories of Dau- 
ma and Eyla. Their princes yielded 1 to the des 
tiny which now seemed to accompany the arms of 
the impostor wherever they were turned, and they 
were henceforth enrolled among his tributaries. 
This was the last expedition on which the pro 
phet went forth in person. The fame of his power 
had now become so extensive and imposing, that 
distant tribes were awed into submission, and sent 
their emissaries to tender to him the voluntary 


-acknowledgment of their homage and fealty. The 
numerous deputations which for this and other 
purposes, waited upon Mohammed this year, in 
duced him to call it "The Year of Embassies." 

The close of this year was distinguished by the 
prophet s last pilgrimage to Mecca, called, from 
its being the last, " The Pilgrimage of Valedic 
tion." An idea of the amazing increase of his fol 
lowers since he last visited Mecca may he formed 
from the fact, that on this occasion he is said to 
have been accompanied by one hundred and four 
teen thousand Moslems! 

Signal success in any enterprise seldom fails 
to call forth imitators and rivals. Mohammrd 
had now become too powerful to be resisted by 
force, but not too exalted to be troubled by com 
petition. His own example in assuming the sa 
cred character of an apostle and prophet, and the 
brilliant success which had attended him, gave a 
hint to others of the probable means of advancing 
themselves to a similar pitch of dignity and do 
minion. The spirit of emulation, therefore, raised 
up a formidable fellow-prophet in the person of 
Moseilama, called to this day by the followers of 
Islam, " the lying Moseilama," a descendant of the 
tribe of Honeifa, and a principal personage in the 
province of Yemen. This man headed an em 
bassy sent by his tribe to Mohammed, in the ninth 
year of the Hejira, and then professed himself a 
Moslem ; but on his return home, pondering on the 
nature of the new religion and the character and 
fortunes of its founder, the sacrilegious suggestion 


occurred to him, that by skilful management he 
might share with his countryman in the glory of 
a divine mission ; and accordingly, in the ensuing 
year, began to put his project in execution. He 
gave out that he also was a prophet sent of God, 
having a joint commission with Mohammed to re 
call mankind from idolatry to the worship of the 
true God. He moreover aped his model so closely 
as to publish written revelations like the Koran, 
pretended to have been derived from the same 
source. Having succeeded in gaining a consider^ 
able party from the tribe of Honeifa, he at length 
began to put himself still more nearly upon a level 
with the prophet of Medina, and even went so far 
as to propose to Mohammed a partnership in his 
spiritual supremacy. His letter commenced thus ; 
" From Moseilama, the apostle of God, to Mo* 
hammed, the apostle of God. Now let the earth 
be half mine and half thine," But the latter, 
feeling himself too firmly established to stand in 
need of an associate, deigned to return him only the 
following reply : " From Mohammed, the apostle 
of God, to Moseilama, the liar. The earth is 
God s : he giveth the same for inheritance unto 
such of his servants as he pleaseth ; and the happy 
issue shall attend those who fear him." During 
the few months that Mohammed lived after this 
revolt, Mosei}ama continued, on the whole, to gain 
ground, and became, at length, so formidable, 
as to occasion extreme anxiety to the prophet, 
now rapidly sinking under the effects of his dis 
ease? An expedition under the command of 


Caled, " the Sword of God," was ordered out to 
suppress the rival sect, headed by the spurious 
apostle, and the bewildered insinuation of Mo 
hammed, in his moments of delirium, was fre 
quently picturing to itself the results of the engage 
ment between his faithful Moslems and these da 
ring apostates. 

The army of Caled returned victorious. Mo- 
seilama himself and ten thousand of his followers 
were left dead on the field ; while the rest, con 
vinced by the shining evidence of truth that gleamed 
from the swords of the conquerors, renounced their 
errors, and fell quietly back into the bosom of the 
Mohammedan church. Several other insurer 
of similar pretences, but of minor consequen. 
were crushed in like manner in the early stages of 
their defection. 




The Religion of the Prophet/irmly established The principal Countries 
subjected by him The effects of the Poison make alarming Inroads 
upon his Constitution Perceives his End approaching Preaches 
for the lastTime in Public His last Illness and Death The Moslems 
scarcely persuaded that their Prophet was dead Tumult appeased 
by Abubeker The Prophet buried at Medina The Story of the hang 
ing Coffin false. 

WE have now reached the period at which the 
religion of Mohammed may be considered to have 
become permanently established. The conquest 
of Mecca and of the Koreish had been, in fact, 
the signal for the submission of the rest of Arabia ; 
and though several of the petty tribes offered, for a 
time, the show of resistance to the prophet s arms, 
they were all eventually subdued. Between the 
taking of Mecca and the period of his death, 
somewhat more than three years elapsed. In that 
short period he had destroyed the idols of Arabia ; 
had extended his conquests to the borders of the 
Greek and Persian empires ; had rendered his 
name formidable to those once mighty kingdoms ; 
had tried his arms against the disciplined troops of 
the former, and defeated them in a desperate en 
counter at Muta. His throne was now firmly es 
tablished ; and an impulse given to the Arabian na 
tions, which induced them to invade, and enabled 
them to conquer, a large portion of the globe. In 
dia, Persia, the Greek empire, the whole of Asia 


Minor, Egypt, Barbary, and Spain, were eventually 
reduced by their victorious arms. Mohammed 
himself did not indeed live to see such mighty 
conquests achieved, but he commenced the train 
which resulted in this wide-spread dominion, and 
before his death had established over the whole 
of Arabia, and some parts of Asia, the religion 
which he had devised. 

And now, having arrived at the sixty-third year 
of his age, and the tenth of the Hejira, A. D. 63 
the fatal effects of the poison, which had been so 
long rankling in his veins, began to discover them 
selves more and more sensibly, and to operate with 
alarming virulence. Day by day he visibly de 
clined, and it was evident that his life was hasten 
ing to a close. For some time previous to the 
event, he was conscious of its approach, and is 
said to have viewed and awaited it with charac 
teristic firmness. The third day before his disso 
lution, he ordered himself to be carried to the 
mosque, that he might, for the last time, address 
his followers, and bestow upon them his parting 
prayers and benedictions. Being assisted to mount 
the pulpit, he edified his brethren by the pious 
tenor of his dying counsels, and in his own ex 
ample taught a lesson of humility and penitence, 
such as we shall scarcely find inculcated in the 
precepts of the Koran. " If there be any man," 
said the apostle, " whom I have unjustly scourged, 
I submit my own back to the lash of retaliation. 
Have I aspersed the reputation of any Mussulman 1 
let him proclaim my faults in the face of the con- 


gregation. Has any one been despoiled of his 
goods ? the little that I possess shall compensate 
the principal and the interest of the debt." 
" Yes," replied a voice from the crowd, " thou 
owest me three drachms of silver." Mohammed 
heard the complaint, satisfied the demand, and 
thanked his creditor, that he had accused him in 
this world rather than at the day of judgment. He 
then set his slaves at liberty, seventeen men and 
eleven women ; directed the order of his funeral ; 
strove to allay the lamentations of his weeping 
friends, and waited the approach of death. He 
did not expressly nominate a successor, a step 
which would have prevented the altercations that 
afterward came so near to crushing in its infancy 
the religion and the empire of the Saracens ; but 
his appointment of Abubeker to supply his place 
in the function of public prayer and the other ser 
vices of the mosque, seemed to intimate indirectly 
the choice of the prophet. This ancient and faith 
ful friend, accordingly, after much contention, be 
came the first Caliph of the Saracens,* though his 
reign was closed by his death at the end of two 
years. The death of Mohammed was hastened 
by the force of a burning fever, which deprived him 
at times of the use of reason. In one of these pa 
roxysms of delirium, he demanded pen and paper, 
that he might compose or dictate a divine book. 
Omar, who was watching at his side, refused his 

* Saracen is the name bestowed by the ancient foreign writers upon 
the Arabs. They may have tolerated the title, but it is not one of their 
own imposition or of their liking. 


request, lest the expiring prophet might dictate 
something which should suspersede the Konm. 
Others, however, expressed a oieai desire that the 
book might be written; and so warm a dispute 
arose in the chamber of the apostle, that lie was 
forced to reprove their unbecoming vehemence. 
The writing was not performed, and many of his 
followers have mourned the loss of the sublime re 
velations which his dying visions might have be 
queathed to them. His favourite wife Ayeslia 
hung over her husband in his last moments, sus 
taining his drooping head upon her knee, as he lay 
stretched upon the carpet, watching with trem 
bling anxiety his changing countenance, and lis 
tening to the last broken sounds of bis voice, ilia 
disease, as it drew towards its termination, was at- 
tended at intervals with most excruciating pains, 
which he constantly ascribed to the fatal morsel 
taken atChaibar; and as the mother of Bash a r, 
the companion who had died upon the spot from 
the same cause, stood by his side, he exclaimed, 
" O mother of Bashar, the cords of my heart are 
now breaking of the food which I ate with your 
son at Chaibar." In his conversation with those 
around him, he mentioned it as a special preroga 
tive granted to him, that the angel of death w r as 
not allowed to take his soul till he had respect 
fully asked his permission of him, and this per 
mission he condescendingly granted. Recovering 
from a swoon into which the violence of his pains 
had thrown him, he raised his eyes towards the 
roof of the house, and with faltering accents 


claimed, " O God! pardon my sins. Yes, I come 
among my fellow-labourers on high !" His face 
was then sprinkled with water, and that by his 
own feeble hand, when he shortly after expired. 

The city, and more especially the house, of the 
prophet, became at once a scene of sorrowful, but 
confused, lamentation. Some of his followers 
could not believe that he was dead. " How can 
he be dead, our witness, our intercessor, our me 
diator with God ? He is not dead. Like Moses 
and Jesus he is wrapped in a holy trance, and 
speedily will he return to his faithful people." The 
evidence of sense was disregarded, and Omar, 
brandishing his scimitar, threatened to strike off 
the heads of the infidels who should affirm that 
the prophet was no more. The tumult was at 
length appeased by the moderation of Abubeker. 
" Is it Mohammed," said he, "or the God of Moham 
med, whom ye worship ? The God of Mohammed 
liveth for ever, but the apostle was a mortal like 
ourselves, and, according to his own prediction, he experienced the common fate of mortality." 

The prophet s remains were deposited at Me* 
dina, in the very room in which he breathed his 
last, the floor being removed to make way for his 
sepulchre, and a simple and unadorned monument 
some time after erected over them. The house 

* " Mohammed is no more than an apostle : the other apostles have 
already deceased before him : if he die, therefore, or be slain, will ye 
turn back on your heels ?" Koran, ch. iii. 

" Verily, thou, O Mohammed, shall die, and they shall die; and ye 
shall debate the matter [idolatry] with one another before your Lord at the 
day of resurrection." Ibid. ch. xxxix. 


itself has long since mouldered or been demo 
lished, but the place of the prophet s interment is 
still made conspicuous to the superstitious reve 
rence of his disciples. The story of his relics br 
ing suspended in the air, by the power of load 
stone, in an iron colTin, and that too at Mecca, 
instead of Medina, is a mere idle fabrication ; as 
his tomb at the latter place has been visited by 
millions of pilgrims, and from the authentic ac 
counts of travellers who have visited both these 
holy cities in disguise, we learn that it is con*- 
structed of plain mason work, fixed without eleva 
tion upon the surface of the ground. 




Reflections upon the extraordinary Career of Mohammed Description 
of his Person General View and Estimate of ?iis Character. 

THUS closed the earthly career of one of the 
most remarkable men, and of decidedly the most suc 
cessful impostor, that ever lived* By the force of 
a vast ambition, giving direction to native talents of 
a superior order, he had risen from small begin 
nings to the pinnacle of power among the Arab 
nation, and before his death had commenced one 
of the greatest revolutions known in the history of 
man* He laid the foundation of ail empire, whichy 
in the short space of eight years, extended its 
sway over more kingdoms and countries than Rome 
had mastered in eight hundred/ And when we 
pass from the political to the religious ascendency 
which he gained, and consider the rapid growth, 
the wide diffusion, and the enduring permanence 
of the Mohammedan imposture, we are still more 
astonished* Indeed, in this, as in every other in 
stance where the fortunes of an individual are 
entirely disproportioned to the means employed, 
and surpass all reasonable calculation, we are 
forced to resolve the problem into the special pro 
vidence of God* Nothing short of this could have 
secured the achievement of such mighty results ; 
and we must doubtless look upon Mohammedanism 


at the present day as a standing monument of the 
mysterious wisdom of Jehovah, designed to com 
pass ends which are beyond the grasp of human 
minds, at least till they are accomplished. 

As to his ] n, Mohammed, according to his 
Arabic biograph . was of a middling stature and 
of a florid complexion. His head \va< large and 
well formed ; his hair smooth and of a glossy 
black ; his eye of the same colour ; and so un 
commonly vigorous and robust was his frame, that 
at the time of his death scarcely any of the marks 
or infirmities of age had appeared upon him. His 
features were large, yet regular ; his cheeks full ; 
his forehead prominent ; his eyebrows long and 
smooth, mutually approaching each other, yet not 
so as to meet ; and between them was a vein, of 
which the pulse was quicker and higher than usual 
whenever he was angry. He had an aquiline 
nose and a large mouth, with teeth of singular 
brilliancy and somewhat singular form, as they 
were pointed like the teeth of a saw, and placed 
at some distance from each other, though still in 
beautiful order. When he laughed he discovered 
them, and they appeared, if tradition may be cre 
dited, like hail-stones or little white pearls. Even 
his laughter is said to have been full of majesty, 
and in his smile there was such a peculiar contrac 
tion of the muscles of the mouth and cheeks, and 
such an expression given to the countenance, as 
rendered it irresistibly attractive. In his later 
years he became corpulent ; but he had always a 



free, open air, a majestic port, and a most engaging 

The Moslem writers are unbounded in their eu 
logy of the prophet s character as a man. Even 
those of them who treat as it deserves the foolish 
fiction of his having been taken by two angels in 
his childhood, his body laid open by a knife, his 
heart taken out, and pressed, and wrung, till its 
original corruptions oozed out in the form of large 
black fetid drops, when it was again replaced, pu 
rified and perfect, in his bosom, and the wound 
miraculously healed, still maintain that his moral 
qualities were such as to lift him quite out of the 
grade of the common race of men. But here the 
history of his life and the pages of the Koran will 
enable us to make those abatements which, in re 
spect to his personal accomplishments, we can only 
suspect ought to be made. His followers extol 
his piety, veracity, justice, liberality, humility, and 
self-denial, in all which they do not scruple to 
propose him as a perfect pattern to the faithful. 
His charity, in particular, they say, was so con 
spicuous, that he seldom had any money in his 
house, keeping no more than was just sufficient to 
maintain his family, and frequently sparing even a 
part of his own provisions to supply the necessi 
ties of the poor. All this may have been so, but 
in forming our judgment of the exhibition of these 
moral traits, we cannot forget that he had private 
ends to answer, and we thus find it impossible to 
distinguish between the generous impulses of a 


kind and noble heart, and the actings of an inte 
rested policy. It is no unusual tiling for a strong 
ruling passion to bring every other passion, even 
the most opposite and discordant, into harmony 
and subserviency to its dictates. Ambition will 
sometimes control avarice, and the love of plea 
sure not unfrequently govern both. A man may 
afford to be just and generous, and to act the part 
of a very saint, when he has no less a motive be 
fore him than to gain the character of a prophet 
and the power of a monarch. If Mohammed re 
ally evinced the virtues of a prophet, he doubtless 
had his eye upon " a prophet s reward." Hut we 
would not be gratuitously harsh : judgment 
of the impostor s moral qualities. We think it by 
no means improbable, that his disposition was natu 
rally free, open, noble, engaging, perhaps magnani 
mous. AVe doubt not injustice may have been 
done by Christian writers to the man in their un 
measured detestation of the impostor. But as long 
as we admit the truth of histoiy, as it relates to 


Islamism and its founder, it is plain, that if he were 
originally possessed of praiseworthy attributes, 
they ceased to distinguish him as he advanced in 
life ; for his personal degeneracy kept pace with 
his success, and his delinquencies became more 
numerous, gross, and glaring, the longer he lived. 

Of his intellectual endowments, his followers 
speak in the same strain of high panegyric. His 
genius, soaring above the need of culture, unaided 
by the lights of learning, despising books, bore 
him by its innate strength into the kindred subli- 


mities of prophecy and poetry, and enabled him 
in the Koran, without models or masters, to speak 
with an eloquence unparalleled in any human pro 
duction. But here it has escaped them, that they 
praise the prophet at the expense of his oracles ; 
that whatever credit, on the score of authorship, 
they give to him, so much they detract from the 
evidence of its inspiration ; since Mohammed him 
self constantly appeals to his revelations as pro 
ceeding from an " illiterate prophet," and therefore 
carrying with them, in their unequalled style, the 
clearest evidence of being, not a human, but a di 
vine composition. On the point, however, of the 
literary merits of the Koran, and of the mental 
endowments of its author as evinced by it, the 
reader will judge for himself. We can more rea 
dily assent to their statements when they inform us, 
that his intellect was acute and sagacious, his me 
mory retentive, his knowledge of human nature, 
improved as it was by travel and extended inter 
course, profound and accurate, and that in the arts 
of insinuation and address he was without a rival. 
Neither are we able to gainsay their accounts 
when they represent him as having been affable, 
rather than loquacious ; of an even cheerful tem 
per ; pleasant and familiar in conversation ; and 
possessing the art, in a surprising degree, of at 
taching his friends and adherents to his person. 

On the whole, from a candid survey of his life 
and actions, we may safely pronounce Mohammed 
to have been by nature a man of a superior cast 
of character, and very considerably in advance of 


the age in which he lived. But the age and the 
counti y in which he arose and shone were rude 
and barbarous ; and the standard which would 
determine him great among the roving tribes of 
Arabia might have left him little more than a 
common man in the cultivated climes of Europe. 
Men s characters are moulded as much by their 
circumstances and fortunes as by their native ge 
nius and bias. Under another combination of ac 
cidents, the founder of the Moslem faith and of the 
empire of the Saracens might have sunk to obli 
vion with the anonymous millions of his race, as 
the drops of rain are absorbed into the sands of 
his native deserts. His whole history makes it 
evident, that fanaticism, ambition, and lust were 
his master-passions ; of which the former appears 
to have been gradually eradicated by the growing 
strength of the two last. An enthusiast by nature, 
he became a hypocrite by policy ; and as the vio 
lence of his corrupt propensities increased, he 
scrupled not to gratify them at the expense of 
truth, justice, friendship, and humanity. It is 
right, indeed, in forming our estimate of his con 
duct in its most repulsive respects, that we should 
make allowance for the ignorance, the prejudices, 
the manners, the laws of the people among whom 
he lived. A heathen people cannot be fairly 
judged by the rules of Christian morality. In 
the mere circumstance of multiplying his wives, 
he followed the common example of his country 
men, with whom polygamy had been, from the 
earliest ages, a prevailing practice. And so, though 



we cannot justify, yet we may in some measure 
palliate, the murder of Caab and Sophy an, if we 
supposed the prophet to have viewed them as ene 
mies from whom his own life was in jeopardy ; for 
in this no violence was done to the common senti 
ments of the Arab race. Even at the present day, 
among the prophet s disciples all over the East, 
no trait is more common or more revolting than 
recklessness of life, which is doubtless to be ascribed 
as much to national habits as to a native cruelty or 
ferocity of disposition. We must, indeed, think 
but little of the morality of such a people, and 
must behold with indignation a pretended prophet, 
while professing to purify the moral code of his 
countrymen, continuing still in the practice of some 
of the worst of its tenets. Here, in fact, our hea 
viest condemnation falls upon Mohammed. He 
did not observe those rules of morality which he 
himself laid down, and which he enforced upon 
others by such terrible sanctions. No excuse can 
be offered for the impostor on this score. He 
abused his claims as a prophet to screen the guilty 
excesses of his private life, and under the pretence 
of a special revelation, dispensing him from the 
laws imposed by his own religion, had the female 
sex abanr"c ed without reserve to his desires. 
" O prophet, we have allowed thee thy wives unto 
whom thou hast given their dower, and also the 
slaves which thy right hand possesseth, of the 
booty which God hath granted thee ; and the 
daughters of thy uncle and the daughters of thy 
aunts, both on thy father s side and on thy mother s 


side, who have fled with thee from Mecca, and any 
other believing woman, if she give herself unto the 
prophet ; in case the prophet desireth to take her 
to wife. This is a peculiar pri vilest- granted unto 
thee, above the rest of the true believers."* The 
exceedingly liberal grant thus made to the prophet 
on the score of matrimonial privilege may be con 
trasted with the allowance made to his followers. 
" Take in marriage of such women as please you 
two, three, or four; and not more. But if ye fear 
that ye cannot act equitably towards so many, 
marry one only."f 

Respect to decorum forbids our entering into de 
tails relative to this part of Mohammed s conduct 
and character. Hut from what has been already 
adduced, the reader cannot have failed to perceive 
how completely the prophet s imposture was made 
an engine for promoting the gratification of sensual 
passion. One of the grossest instances of his un 
hallowed abuse of the claims to which he pre 
tended occurs in the his tiny of his intercourse with 
Mary, an Egyptian slave. The knowledge of his 
illicit amours with this " possession of his right 
hand" having come to the ears, or rather to the 
eyes, of one of his lawful wives, who thereupon 
reproached him most bitterly for his infidelity, he 
went so far, in order to pacify her, as to promise 
with an oath never to be guilty of a repetition of 
the offence. But the infirmity of nature having 
not long after triumphed again over the strength of 
his resolution, he had recourse to his revelations 

* Koran, ch. auuuii. f Ch. IT. 


to cover the scandal of this shameless lapse. The 
expedient now resorted to forms one of the black 
est stains upon the pages of the Koran, and upon 
the character of its author. It was nothing less 
than a pretended absolution of the prophet from 
the obligation of his oath. " O prophet, why 
boldest thou that to be prohibited which God hath 
allowed thee, seeking to please thy wives ; since 
God is inclined to forgive, and merciful ? God hath 
allowed you the dissolution of your oaths, and God 
is your Master."* Here is an alleged dispensa 
tion of the prophet, which must be construed as 
actually legalizing perjury on the part of a pro 
fessed messenger of truth ; one too who thus in 
structs his followers : " Perform your covenant 
with God, when ye enter into covenant with 
him, and violate not your oaths after the ratifica 
tion thereof; since ye have made God a witness 
over you. Verily, God knoweth that which ye do. 
And be not like unto her who undoeth that which 
she hath spun, untwisting it after she hath twisted 
it strongly." * Therefore take not your oaths be 
tween you deceitfully, lest your foot slip after it 
hath been steadfastly fixed, and ye taste evil in 
this life, and suffer a grievous punishment in the 
life to come."f This is but too fair a specimen 
of the general character of the Koran. By far 
the greater part of its contents were fabricated to 
answer particular purposes, which he could effect 
in no other way ; and this was an expedient which 
never failed. If any new enterprise was to be 

* Koran, ch. Ixvi. |Ch. xvi. 


undertaken, any new objections answered, any diffi 
culty to be solved, any disturbance among his fol 
lowers to be hushed, or any offence to be removed, 
immediate recourse was had to Gabriel, and a new 
revelation, precisely adapted to meet the necessi 
ties of the case, was granted. As an inevitable 
consequence, a vast number of variations and con 
tradictions, too palpable to be denied, occur in the 
course of the book. His commentators and dis 
ciples acknowledge the fact, but account for it by 
saying, that whenever a subsequent revelation 
plainly contradicts a former, the former is to be 
considered s having been revoked or repealed by 
the latter; and above a hundred and fifty verses 
are enumerated as having been thus set aside by 
after-discoveries of the divine will. In this they 
are countenanced by the words of the impostor 
himself. "Whatever verse we shall abrogate, or 
cause thee to forget, we will bring a better than it, 
or one like unto it."* " When we substitute in the 
Koran an abrogating verse in lieu of a verse abro 
gated (and God best knoweth the fitness of that 
which he revealeth), the infidels say, Thou art 
only a forger of these verses : but the greater part 
of them know not the truth from falsehood."! 
When this feature of their religion is objected to 
modern Mohammedans, as it was by Henry Mar- 
tyn in his controversy with them, they reply, that 
"this objection is altogether futile; for the pre 
cepts of God are always delivered with a special 
regard to the necessities of his servants. And 

* Koran, ch. ii. f Ch. xvi. 


there can be no doubt that these must vary with 
the varying exigences of the times in which they 
are delivered. The divine Lawgiver may here 
be considered as the spiritual physician of his 
people ; who, like a temporal physician, prescribes 
such regimen and medicines as are most likely to 
suit the wants of his patient."* The pupil here is 
certainly worthy of the master, when they both 
agree in teaching, that the grand principles of mo 
rality are not eternal and immutable, growing out 
of the very nature of the relation subsisting between 
the Creator and his creatures, but are mere arbi 
trary rules, subject to be relaxed, modified, or dis 
pensed with, as circumstances may dictate. See 
ing that this pitiful device of feigning dispensa 
tions and abrogations of particular duties subjects 
the immutable Counsels of the Almighty to the 
charge of weakness and fickleness, it is surprising 
that his disciples should have been blinded by so 
flimsy a disguise ; yet such is evidently the fact. 
And it adds another proof of the truth of the re 
mark, that as there is no error or absurdity in reli 
gion too monstrous to be conceived or broached, 
so there is none too gross to be imposed upon the 
credulity of others. 

* Lee s Translation of H. Martyn s Controversial Tracts. 


, r 


Account of the Prophet s Wires Cadijah Ai/e.iha Hnfsa 
Safyn His Concubines Singular Precepts in the Koran retpe 
the Wives of .Mohammed His comparative Treatment of Jew* and 
Christians Predn tio, is of the Prophet alleged by Mohammedans to 
be contained in the sacred Scriptures. 

As the subject of women occupies a prominent 
place in the Koran, so in a complete history of the 
prophet s life his .numerous wives, of which the 
number is variously stated from fifteen to twenty- 
one, form a topic of too much interest to be 

During the lifetime ofCadijah, it does not ap 
pear that she was ever pained with the sight or 
suspicion of a rival. After her death, when at 
length his reputation as a prophet had become es 
tablished, and his authority too firmly rooted to be 
shaken, the restraints which policy had imposed 
upon passion were gradually thrown off, and the 
most unlimited license in this respect marked his 
subsequent conduct. 

His third and best beloved wife was Ayesha, 
the daughter of Abubeker, whom he married in 
the first year of the Hejira. Vague rumours of 
conjugal infidelity have cast a stain upon the cha 
racter of Ayesha not entirely effaced even at the 
present day. They were not believed, however, 
by the prophet, and the divine Acquittal in the 
twenty-fourth chapter of the Koran has done much 


towards shielding her fame from reproach. " As 
to the party among you, who have published the 
falsehood concerning Ayesha every man of them 
shall be punished according to the injustice of 
which he hath been guilty ; and he among them 
who hath undertaken to aggravate the same shall 
suffer a grievous punishment. Did not the faith 
ful men and the faithful women say, This is a mani 
fest falsehood ? Have they produced four witnesses 
thereof? Wherefore, since they have not pro 
duced the witnesses, they are surely liars in the 
sight of God. Had it not been -for the indulgence 
of God towards you, and his mercy in this world, 
and in that which is to come, verily a grievous 
punishment had been inflicted on you for the ca 
lumny which ye have spread ; when ye published 
that with your tongues, and spoke that with your 
mouths, of which ye had no knowledge ; and es 
teemed it to be light, whereas it was a matter of 
importance in the sight of God."* 

Ayesha was married such is the surprising phy 
sical precocity peculiar to an eastern climate at 
the early age of nine ; and survived her husband 
forty-eight years. Her memory is held in great ve 
neration by the Moslems, who have bestowed upon 
her the title of Prophetess, and Mother of the Faith 
ful, probably from the circumstance of her being 
much resorted to after her husband s death, as an 
expositor of the doubtful points of the law ; an of 
fice which she performed by giving the sense which 

* Koran, cfc. xiv. 


she had heard the prophet affix to them in his lifc- 
time. Her expositions, together with those of 
Mohammed s first ten converts, form what is 
called the SO/UHI/I, or the Authentic Traditions, of 
the professors of Islam, which hear a striking re 
semblance to the traditions of the Jews. Ayesha 
was the inveterate enemy of Ali, the rival candi 
date with Ahubeker to the honour of being the 
prophet s successor ; and when at last he attained 
to that dignity, she appeared in arms against him. 
Her expedition was indeed unsuccessful, yet she 
found means, some time after, to excite a defec 
tion among Ali s followers, which finally resulted 
in the ruin of himself and his house. 

Hafsa, the daughter of Omar, was next in fa 
vour with the prophet. To her, as being the eldest 
of his wives, he committed the Chest of his apos- 
tleship, containing the original copies of his pre 
tended revelations, from which the volume of the 
Koran was composed after his death, by Abubeker. 
She died at the age of sixty-six. 

Zeinab, another of his wives, was originally the 
wife of his servant Zeid ; upon whom, as we learn 
from the Koran, God had bestowed the grace to 
become one of the earliest converts to the true 
faith. The circumstances which led to her be 
coming the wife of the prophet, form a story worth 
relating. Mohammed, having occasion, one day, 
to call at the house of Zeid upon some matter of 
business, and not finding him at home, accidentally 
cast his eyes on Zeinab his \vife. Being a wo 
man of distinguished beauty, the prophet was so 



smitten with her charms at first sight, that he 
could not forbear exclaiming, " Praised be God, 
who turneth the hearts of men as he pleaseth !" 
and thenceforth became violently in love with her. 
Zeid, when made acquainted with the circum 
stance, was thrown into great perplexity. His af 
fection for his wife and his wish to retain her 
were counterbalanced by his sense of obligation to 
his master, who had not only freed him from ser 
vitude, but had also publicly adopted him as his 
son and heir, by a religious ceremony at the black 
stone of the Caaba. Upon mature reflection ; he 
determined to part with Zeinab in favour of his be 
nefactor, whom he privately acquainted with his 
intention, at the same time giving out in public, 
that he no longer retained any affection for her, in 
order to pave the way for a divorce. Mohammed, 
aware of the scandal that would ensue among his 
people, from his taking to his bed one who stood 
to him in the relation of a daughter, made a feint 
of dissuading him from his purpose, and endea 
voured to suppress the violence of his passion. 
But finding the flame which consumed him uncon 
querable, a chapter of the Koran came seasonably 
to his relief, which at once removed all impedi 
ments hi the way of a union. " And remember, 
when thou saidst to him unto whom God had been 
gracious (Zeid), and on whom thou also hadst 
conferred favours, keep thy wife to thyself and fear 
God ; and thou didst conceal that in thy mind (i. e. 
thine affection to Zeinab) which God had deter 
mined to discover, and didst fear men ; whereas it 


was more just that thou shouldst fear God. But 
when Zeid had determined the matter concerning 
her, and had resolved to divorce her, we joined 
her in marriage unto thee, lest a crime should be 
charged on the true believers in marry ing the wives 
of their adopted sons : and the command of God 
is to be performed. No crime is to be charged 
on the prophet as to what God hath allowed him." 
Here the Most High is represented not only as 
sanctioning the marriage, but as conveying a gen 
tle rebuke to the prophet, that he should so long 
have abstained from the enjoyment of this favour 
out of regard to public sentiment, as though he 
feared men rather than God! Zeinab hereupon 
became the wife of this most favoured of mortals, 
and lived with him in great affection to the time 
of his death ; always glorying over her associates, 
that whereas they had been married to Mohammed 
by their parents and kindred, she had been 
united to him by God himself, who dwells above 
the seven heavens ! 

Another of his wives, Safya, was a Jewess. Of 
her nothing remarkable is related, except that she 
once complained to her husband of being thus re 
proached by her companions : " O thou Jewess, 
the daughter of a Jew and of a Jewess." To 
which the prophet answered, " Canst thou not say, 
Aaron is my father, Moses is my uncle, and Mo 
hammed is my husband?" But in reference to 
these insulting taunts, an admonition was conveyed 

* Koran, ch, xxxiii. 


to the offenders from a higher source than the pro 
phet himself. " O true believers, let not men 
laugh other men to scorn, who peradventure may 
be better than themselves ; neither let women laugh 
other women to scorn, who may possibly be bet 
ter than themselves. Neither defame one another, 
nor call one another by opprobious appellations."* 

In addition to his wives, the harem of the pro 
phet contained a number of concubines, among 
whom Mary, the Egyptian, was his favourite. By 
her he had a son, Ibrahim (Abraham), who died 
in infancy, to the unspeakable grief of the prophet 
and his disciples. He had no children by any of 
the rest of his wives except Cadijah, who was the 
mother of eight four sons and four daughters ; but 
most of these died in early life, none of them sur 
viving their father except Fatima, the wife of Ali, 
and she only sixty days. 

The following passages from the Koran evince 
that not the prophet only was an object of the di 
vine care, beneficence, and guidance, but that his 
wives also shared in the same kind providence, and 
that whatever instructions or admonitions their 
frailties might require were graciously bestowed 
upon them. From an infirmity not uncommon to 
the sex, they had become, it appears, more devoted 
to the decoration of their persons than was credit 
able for the wives of a holy prophet, and had de 
manded of him a larger allowance on the score of 
dress than he deemed it prudent to grant. They 

* Koran, ch, xlix* 


are thus rebuked : " O prophet, say unto thy 
wives, If ye seek this present life and the pomp 
thereof, come, I will make a handsome provision 
for you, and I will dismiss you with an honourable 
dismission : but if ye seek God and his apostle, 
and the life to come, verily God hath prepared for 
such of you as work righteousness a great re 
ward."* " O wives of the prophet, ye are not as 
other women : if ye fear God, be not too com 
plaisant in speech, lest he should covet in whose 
heart is a disease of incontinence ; but speak the 
speech which is convenient. And sit still in your 

houses ; and set not out yourselves with the osten- 


tation of the former time of ignorance, and observe 
the appointed times of prayer, and give alms ; and 
obey God and his apostle ; for God desireth only 
to remove from you the abomination of vanity, 
since ye are the household of the prophet, and to 
purify you by a perfect purification. ! 

The prophet interdicted to all his wives the pri 
vilege of marrying again after his death, and 
though some of them were then young, they scru 
pulously obeyed his command, delivered to them, 
like every thing else in the Koran, in the form of 
a mandate of heaven, and lived and died in widow 
hood. The passage in which this severe edict is 
found is a curiosity, and will doubtless lead the 
reader to suspect that it was prompted by a spirit 
of mean jealousy, the effects of which he aimed 
to perpetuate when he was no more. It is pre 

* Koran, ch. xxxiii. 



faced by some wholesome cautions to his followers 
respecting the etiquette to be observed in their in 
tercourse with the prophet and his household. 

" O true believers, enter not into the houses of 
the prophet, unless it be permitted you to eat 
meat with him, without waiting his convenient 
time ; but when ye are invited, then enter. And 
when ye shall have eaten, disperse yourselves ; and 
stay not to enter into familiar discourse ; for this 
incommodeth the prophet. He is ashamed to bid 
you depart, but God is not ashamed of the truth. 
And when ye ask of the prophet s wives what ye 
may have occasion for, ask it of them behind a 
curtain. This will be more pure for your hearts 
and their hearts. Neither is it fit for you to give 
any uneasiness to the apostle of God, or to marry 
his wives after him for ever ; for this would be a 
grievous thing in the sight of God." 

In the outset of his career, Mohammed appears 
to have been more favourably disposed towards the 
Jews than the Christians. This is inferred from 
his enjoying with them a common descent from 
the patriarch Abraham ; from his agreement with 
them in the fundamental doctrine of the divine 
unity ; and from his proffering to make Jerusalem 
the point of pilgrimage and of the Kebla to his fol 
lowers. But conceiving a pique against them 
about the time of his entrance into Medina, he 
thenceforward became their inveterate en,emy, and 
in all his wars pursued them with a more relentless 

* Koran, cli. xxxiii. 


severity than he showed towards any other people. 
Thus this descendant of Ishmael, without intend 
ing it, made good the declaration of holy writ re 
specting the antagonist set -ds of Ilagarand of Sa 
rah. "For it is written that Abraham had two 
sons, the one by a bond-maid tlie oilier by a i 
woman. But he who was of the bond-woman 
was born after the flesh ; but he of the free woman 
was by promise. But as then he that was born 
after the flesh persecuted him that was born alter 
the spirit, even so it is now." Thtir oppositi- 
to him can easily be accounted for on the score oi 
national and religious prejudice. And the op| 
brious name which they gave to the corrupt < m 
of the heresiarch, tended still more to pro., ins 
indignation. For while he profess* <1 to be a i 
storer of the true primitive religion which (iod com 
municated to Abraham, and Abiaham to his son 
Ishmael, and which the prophet denominated Jslam, 
or Islamism, from a word signifying to devote or 
dedicate to religion, the Jews, by a transposition of 
letters, called the new creed Ismaelism, from the 
prophet s progenitor, and thus cast the JIT. 
possible reproach on the bastard faith of their 
enemy. Their effrontery Mohammed neither for 
got nor forgave. Still, both Jews and Christians 
were admitted to protection in ordinary cases on 
the payment of a specified tribute. 

Towards the Christians, though the Koran, and 
all who embrace it, breathe the most inveterate ma 
lice and the most sovereign contempt against the 

* Gal. ch. iv. 


" dogs" and " infidels" who profess the Gospel faith, 
yet rather more forbearance is exercised than to 
wards the Jews ; and some of the Moslems will 
grant, that Christianity, next to their own, is the 
best religion in the world, particularly as held by 
Unitarians. Yet Mohammed, in the Koran, loses 
no opportunity to pour his revilings indiscriminately 
upon both. "The Jews and the Christians say, 
We are the children of God and his beloved. An 
swer, Why, therefore, doth he punish you for your 
sins !"* " They say, Verily, none shall enter pa 
radise, except they who are Jews or Christians : 
this is their wish. Say, Produce your proof of 
this, if ye speak truth. The Jews say, The 
Christians are grounded on nothing ; and the Chris 
tians say, The Jews are grounded on nothing : yet 
they both read the Scriptures."! " O ye, to whom 
the Scriptmes have been given, why do ye dispute 
concerning Abraham? Abraham was neither a 
Jew nor a Christian ; but he was of the true reli 
gion, one resigned unto God, and was not of the 
number of idolaters. "J 

The religion of the Koran tolerates Christian 
churches in places where they have been anciently 
founded, but permits them not to be reared on new 
foundations. Christians may repair the walls and 
roofs of their places of worship* but are not 
allowed to lay a stone in a new place consecrated 
to the site of a holy building ; nor, if fire or any 
other accident should destroy the superstructure, 
are they suffered to renew the foundations, so as 

* Koran, ch. v. t C1 *- & t Ch. iii. 


to erect another building. The consequence i>, 
that Christian churches, in the Mohammedan < 
minions, must necessarily at length sink to ruin, 
and vast numbers of them have already gone en 
tirely to decay. In the great fires which happei 
in Galata and Constantinople in 1660, numerous 
Christian churches and chapels were rcdm-ei* 
ashes, and when the piety and zeal of their vota 
ries had re-edified and almost completed the gr< 
est number of them, a public order was issued that 
they should all be again demolished, it being judged 
contrary to Turkish law to permit the restoration 
of churches where nothing but the mere foundation 

The fact may be here adverted to, in drawing 
our sketch to a close, that Mohammed not only 
admitted the Old and New Testaments as divinely 
inspired books, though corrupted by their disciples, 
but affirmed that they bore unequivocal proph< 
testimony to his future mission as prophet and 
apostle : " And when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, 
O children of Israel, Verily I am the apostle of 
God sent unto you confirming the law which was 
delivered before me, and bringing good tidings of 
an apostle who shall come after me, and whose 
name shall be Ahmed (Mohammed)."* In support 
of what is here alleged, the Persian paraphrast 
quotes the words of Christ in his last address to 
his disciples : " If I go not away, the Comforter 
will not come unto you ; but if I go away, I will 
send him unto you." This passage the Moham- 

* Koran, ch. Ixi. 


medan doctors unanimously teach has a direct in 
ference to their prophet, and is fulfilled in him 
only. But then, in order to make good their in 
terpretation, they are obliged to hold that the 
Christians in their copies have corrupted the true 
reading, which, instead of Paraclete ( Comforter), 
is Periclyte (illustrious, renowned), a word per 
fectly synonymous with Ahmed. 

The following passage (Deut. xxxiii. 2) is also 
suborned to the support of the same bad cause : 
" The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from 
Mount Seir unto them; he shined forth from 
Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousand of 
his saints ; from his right hand went a fiery law for 
them." By these words, say the Moslem exposi 
tors, is set forth the delivery of the law to Moses, 
on Mount Sinai ; of the Gospel to Jesus at Jeru 
salem ; and of the Koran to Mohammed at Mecca. 
By Seir, they maintain that the mountains of Je 
rusalem are meant, and by Paran, those in the 
neighbourhood of Mecca. But their geography 
will appear as lame as their divinity, when it is 
stated, that Seir was a hundred miles distant from 
Jerusalem, and Paran five hundred from Mecca. 
Their other glosses of this nature need no con 

In another sense, however, wholly different 
from that intended by Mohammed or his followers, 
we doubt not that this grand impostor and his re 
ligion are distinctly foretold in the sacred volume. 
The religion promulgated, and the empire esta 
blished, by the author of Islam, has been too 


signal a scourge to the Church and the civilized 
world not to be entitled to a place iu the prophetic 
annunciations of the Bible. As th subject of the 
rise, progress, and pe iimm -nee of Mohammedan 
ism cannot be duly appreciated apart from the pre 
dictions concerning it, we have determined to dr- 
vote a portion of the Appendix to the consideration 
of the most prominent and striking of these pro 
phecies, to which the reader will permit us to 
bespeak his attention. 



[A.]* : 

PROPHECY. Dan. vii. 8 26. 


8 The he-goat waxed very great : and when he was stron: 

horn was broken ; and for it came up four notable ones toward th 

9. four winds of heaven. And out of one of thnn mmr forth a littl*: 
horn, which waxed exceeding great toward tl U and to\\ 

10. theeast, and toward the pleasant land. And it v n to 
the host of heaven; and it cast down .someot tin- h -tars 

11. to the ground, and stainjml upon them \ .-d hni; 
even to th Prince of the host, and by him was t y saer: 

12. taken away, and the place of 1 \ni Ami 
a host was given him against the d;iii a of 
transgression ; and it cast down the truth to the ground ; arid it 

13. practised and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, 
another saint said unto that certain saint which sp:t -.< . How 
long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the 
transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the 

14. host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two 
thousand and three hundred days ; then shall the sanctuary be 


21. And the rough goat is the king (kingdom) of Orocia: and the 

great horn that is between his eyes is the first king (kingdom). 

22. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four king- 

23. doms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And 
in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are 
come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding 
(Heb. making to understand, teaching) dark sentences, shall stand 

24. up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power : 
and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise,. 

25. and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through 
his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand ; and he 

* For the materials of this chapter, and occasionally for some por 
tion of the language, the compiler acknowledges himself indebted prin 
cipally to Faber s Sacred Calendar of Prophecy, Foster s Mahometanism 
Unveiled, and Fry s Second Advent of Christ. He has moreover given 
a minute and critical attention to these prophecies in the original lan 



shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy 
many : he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes ; but 
26. he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening 
and the morning which was told is true j wherefore shut thou up 
the vision ; for it shall be for many days. Dan. vii. 8 26. 

THE prophecy of Daniel contains a prospective 
view of the providential history of the world, in 
cluding the four great empires of antiquity, together 
with the powers which should succeed them to the 
end of time, and consummation of all things. It is 
reasonable therefore to expect, that a system of pre 
dictions thus large upon the history of the world, 
would not omit a revolution of such magnitude and 
prominence as that occasioned by Mohammed and 
Mohammedanism. No event, moreover, has had a 
more direct and powerful bearing upon the state of 
the Church than the establishment of this vast im 
posture ; and as the preceding chapter contains a 
full and exact portraiture of the Papal tyranny which 
was to arise and prevail in the western portion of 
Christendom, so the present is very generally ad 
mitted to contain a prediction of that great apostacy 
which was destined to grow up and overwhelm the 
Church in the East. The reasons of this opinion 
we now proceed to state. 

The theatre of this prophecy is the Macedonian 
empire, founded by Alexander; from one of the 
four dismembered kingdoms of which the little 
horn of the vision was to spring up. In the vision, 
the prophet saw the first great horn of the he-goat, 
or the kingdom of Alexander, " broken ;" indicating 
that that kingdom was no longer to have a place as 
a kingdom in the eye of prophecy. The dominions 
of Alexander at his death were divided between 
four of his generals: Macedon and Greece in the 
west were assigned to Cassander ; Thrace and Bi- 
thynia in the north to Lysimachus ; Egypt in the 
south to Ptolemy ; and Syria with the eastern pro 
vinces to Seleucus. 

Fer. 9. And out of one ofthei^ camef ^th a little 


horn. A " horn," in the symbolical language of pro 
phecy, represents a civil or ecclesiastical kingdom. 
The little horn here mentioned was to come forth 
out of one of the four notable horns or members of 
the subdivided kingdom of Alexander. The ques 
tion has been much agitated whether Alexander 
seized and retained any portion of the Arabian penin 
sula : the fact of his having done so may be seen in 
any map of the Macedonian empire. " The empire 
of .Alexander," observes M. Rollin, " was distributed 
into four kingdoms ; of which Ptolemy had Egypt, 
Libya, Arabia, Ccelosyria, and Palestine." The dis 
trict occupied was indeed no more than an outskirt, 
but that outskirt comprised part of the province of 
Hejaz ; that is to say, part of that very district which 
gave birth to Mohammed and his religion. As the 
horn in the vision was a little one, so Mohammedan 
ism in its first rise perfectly corresponded with the 
symbol. It originated with an obscure inhabitant 
of a desert corner of Asia, whose earliest converts 
were his wife, his servant, his pupil, and his friend ; 
and whose party at the end of three years scarcely 
numbered a dozen persons. 

Which waxed exceeding great toward the south, 
and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 
Mohammedanism accordingly, in its primitive 
course of conquest, did presently wax exceedingly 
great ; and that in the very line marked out by the 
prophecy. Its conquests extended southward over 
the large peninsula of Arabia, over Egypt, and over 
a considerable portion of central Africa ; eastward, 
over Persia, Bokhara, and Hindostan ; and north 
ward, over Palestine, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, 
Greece, and Tartary, the countries now forming the 
Turkish empire. " The pleasant land," or, literally, 
"the beauty," "the ornament," is an appellation 
bestowed upon the land of Judah, from its being in 
a peculiar manner the residence of the divine glory, 
the seat of worship, containing the city of Jerusalem 


and the temple, which were " a crown of beauty and 
a diadem of glory" to the nation of Israel. The ori 
ginal word here employed is found in a parallel sense 
MI Ezek. xx. 6. 15 ; "a land flowing with milk and 
i-soney, which is the gloi*y of all lands." Jerusalem 
was captured by the Saracens A. D. 637, after a 
siege of four months. 

Ver. 10. And it waxed great even to the host of 
teaven. The " host of heaven" is but another name 
i or the multitude of stars in the firmament. But 
dars, in the idiom of prophecy, are a standing em- 
r.lem of ecclesiastical officers. The word " host" 
Accordingly is not only applied to the priests and 
i^evites performing the service of the sanctuary 
(Num. iv. 3), but to the nation of Israel as a great 
organized ecclesiastical body, or kingdom of priests. 
Ex. xii. 41. And when Christ says (Rev. i. 20), 
" the seven stars are the angels of the seven 
churches," his meaning undoubtedly is, that these 
stars are symbols of the spiritual rulers of the 
churches. The grand scope, therefore, of the pre 
sent prophecy is, to point out a spiritual desolation, 
achieved by a hostile power suddenly attaining 
great strength, and forcibly thrusting itself into the 
body of true worshippers, with a view to their dis 
comfiture and dispersion. 

And it cast down some of the host, and (i. e. even) of 
the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. As in 
the figurative language of prophecy the stars denote 
the spiritual pastors of God s church, so the violent 
dejection of such stars from heaven to earth signifies 
a compulsory apostatizing from their religion. Mo 
hammedanism strikingly fulfilled this prophecy from 
the date of its first promulgation, when it stood up 
against the allegorical host, or the degenerate pas 
tors of the Christian Church. Such of them as lay 
within the territories of the Greek empire were espe 
cially given into the hand of this persecuting super 
stition ; but by its inroads into Africa, and Spain, 


and France, and Italy, it waxed great against the 
whole host. Of the eastern clergy, it cast some to 
the ground, or compelled them altogether to renounce 
the Christian faith. And as for those who still ad 
hered to the form of their religion, it stamped them, 
as it were, under its feet with all the tyranny of 
brutal fanaticism. 

Ver. 11. Fea, he magnified himself even to the 
Prince of the host. If the starry host be the pastors 
of the Church, the prince of that host must obviously 
be the Messiah. Mohammedanism has most clearly 
verified this prediction by magnifying its founder to 
a pitch of dignity and honour equal to that of Christ. 
In fact, it has set up Mohammed above Christ. The 
Arabian impostor allowed Jesus to be a prophet ; but 
he maintained that he himself was a greater pro 
phet, and that the Koran was destined to supersede 
the Gospel. Thus did Mohammedanism magnify 
itself " even to" the Prince of the host. 

And by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and 
the place of his sanctuary was cast down. The term 
rendered " daily sacrifice," or, literally, " the daily," 
" the continual," is a term frequently used respect 
ing the daily repeated sacrifices of the Jewish tem 
ple, typifying the death of Christ till he should come. 
Now, what this continual burnt-offering was with 
respect to Christ s first coming, are the daily offer 
ings of prayer and praise, and all the solemnities of 
the Christian Church, as administered by a divinely 
appointed order of men. When, therefore, the 
Saracens and Turks by their victories and oppres 
sions broke up and dispersed the churches of the 
East, and abolished the daily spiritual worship of 
God, then did the " little horn" take away the " con 
tinual offering" established by the Prince of the 
host. But the predicted desolation was to extend 
yet farther. The place of God s sanctuary was to 
be razed to its foundation, and both the sanctuary 
and the host for a long course of ages to be trodden 


under foot. Accordingly, Mohammedanism began 
this appointed work by the subversion of the Chris 
tian churches and altars in every stage of its pro 
gress against the Greek empire ; and has continued 
the desolation during nearly twelve hundred years, 
until it has all but completed the extinction of Eastern 
Christianity. Gibbon observes, that upon the taking 
of Jerusalem, " by the command of Omar, the ground 
of the temple of Solomon was prepared for the 
foundation of a mosque."* And it is worthy of 
notice, that whereas the original word used by 
Daniel for " sanctuary" is Kodsh, the same historian 
remarks, that the epithet Al Rods is used now, and 
was then among the Arabs as the proper appellation 
of the Holy City, of which the sanctuary or temple 
was the distinguishing ornament and glory. 

Ver. 12. And an host "was given him against the 
daily sacrifice by reason of transgression : and it cast 
down the truth to the ground : and it practised and 
prospered. From this it would appear, that power 
was to be given to the little horn, not merely for the 
subversion of the true religion, but also for the per 
manent substitution of another faith. " Host," we 
may naturally suppose, means in this place the same 
as when it was used in a former verse, " a host of 
stars," symbolical of the several orders of Christian 
pastors and ministers. " An host," then, to be given 
to the little horn, implies that he too should have 
his orders of teachers, and a regular system of reli 
gious worship, and that by means of this new and 
spurious ecclesiastical polity, the Christian ministry 
should be opposed and superseded, and " the truth 
cast to the ground." The prediction, thus inter 
preted, according to the natural force of the lan 
guage and construction, is applicable to no other 
known power ; but as applied to the heresy of Mo 
hammed, its fulfilment appears perfect. For the 

* Pec. and Fall, eh. li. 


religion of Islam permanently overthrew the Chris 
tian priesthood and altars, by the permanent ereetion 
of other altars and of another priesthood in their 
room. Every where throughout its vast domains 
the mosques replaced the Christian temples; and 
the Imams and the Muezzin were substituted for the 
appointed ministry of Christ. In a more enlarged 
view, the Saraeens and Turks themselves com 
posed the antagonist host or priesthood. For in 
Mohammedanism, the sword being the grand engine 
of conversion, the whole Mussulman people became 
virtually a priesthood; and each individual Saracen 
and Turkish soldier a missionary and maker of 

Ver. 23. And in the latter time of their kingdom, 
when the transgressors are come to the full, a ki/>^ 
of fierce countenance and understanding (teaching) 
dark sentences, shall stand up. We are here fur 
nished with a chronological clew to the period of 
the commencement of this disastrous power. The 
first three empires, forming a part of the symbolic 
image which appeared in vision to Nebuchadnezzar, 
were indeed stripped of their dominions by the con 
quests of the fourth, or Roman empire ; but still, in 
the view of prophecy, their lives are considered as 
being nevertheless prolonged; Dan.vii. 12. Hence 
it is an indisputable fact that the little horn of Mo 
hammedanism rose up in the latter time of the 
Greek empire. Another striking note of the tjme 
of the rise of this power is contained in the words, 
" When the transgressors are come to the full," or, 
" when the apostacy shall be completed." By the 
transgressors or apostates here mentioned, we must 
understand the corrupt Christian Church, with its 
degenerate pastors, the smitten ecclesiastical stars, 
spoken of in a former verse. We learn both from 
the civil and sacred history of the time when Mo 
hammed arose, that the Christian Church had then 
arrived at the height of those corruptions in doctrine 


and practice, which had been so clearly foretold by 
the Apostle Paul in his prediction of the Man of Sin. 
The extraordinary success of the Mohammedan im 
posture was permitted as a punishment of this great 
defection. The allegorical host, by reason of their 
apostacy from the truth, were subjected to the ty 
ranny of the little horn. But this apostacy, which 
had long previously infected both the East and the 
West, was completed, or had reached its acme, about 
the commencement of the seventh century, when 
the prophet of Islam first appeared. Gibbon, the 
historian, introduces his account of Mohammedanism 
by observing, that " the Christians of the seventh 
century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of 
paganism." From this time, therefore, the stars 
were given into the hand of the little horn, as the 
appointed rod of God s anger : they were penally 
consigned to its tyranny by reason of their previous 
apostacy into the idolatrous superstitions of the Gen 
tiles. Again, as far as the aspect of Mohammedan* 
ism is concerned, that wonderful ecclesiastical 
domination may well be described as a " kingdom 
of fierce countenance," when the avowed maxim 
of its founder was to employ the sword as the grand 
engine of conversion. Of this ferocious spirit its 
proselytes have in all ages largely partaken. Some, 
however, suppose the words should be translated 
" of a firm countenance," denoting the bold effron 
tery of the barefaced, impudent liar ; and such were 
Mohammed and his successors : their religion is, in 
truth, the most glaring imposition that was ever 
palmed upon the credulity of mankind. As to the 
remaining character of this desolating power that 
he should " understand dark sentences" the expres 
sion, " dark sentences," is equivalent to the familiar 
scriptural phrases, " dark sayings," and " dark say 
ings of old." These phrases, in the language of 
the sacred writers, will be found uniformly to con 
vey a spiritual signification. Thus the Psalmist, 


" I will open my mouth in a parnblo ; I will utter 
dark sayings of old." It seems probable, therefore, 
that the equivalent expression, "dark sentences," 
relates, in one shape or other, to religion ; and the 
" understanding dark senteno to real or pre 
tended skill in the interpretation of thin: - spiritual. 
The Koran, so celebrated in the Mohammedan reli 
gion, the book containing their spiritual mysteries, 
exactly answers to this description. And it is not a 
little remarkable, that the author of the Koran should 
have been unconsciously led to appropriate the lan 
guage of this very prediction to himself. " O Lord, 
thou hast given me a part of the kingdom, and hast 
taught me the interpretation of dark sayings." " We 
taught him the interpretation of dark sayings, but 
the greater part of them men do not understand." 
" This is a secret history which we reveal unto thee, 
O Mohammed."* As the fabricator, therefore, of the 
Koran, Mohammed has himself confirmed his claim 
to the prophetic distinction of " understanding dark 
sentences ;" for it is the declared object of this pre 
tended revelation to revive the traditions of ancient 
times concerning God and religion ; and it professes 
farther to unfold the history of futurity, and the se 
crets of the invisible world. 

Ver. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but not 
by his own power. Of this language a twofold in 
terpretation may be suggested, either of which is 
satisfactoiy, though it be not easy to decide which 
of them is the true one. By "his power being 
mighty, but not by his own power," may be meant, 
that the temporal power of Mohammed and his suc 
cessors was to owe its greatness and perpetuity to 
his spiritual dominion ; or, in other words, that the 
empire which he founded was to be upheld by the 
imposture which he established. To this purpose 
the folio wing*pass age from Demetrius Cantemir, the 

* Koran, ch. xii. 


historian of the Ottoman empire, will be found very 
striking. " The Turks," says he, " ascribe the for 
tunate successes of the empire, not so much to hu 
man prudence, policy, and valour, as that their first 
emperors waged war, not through ambition and a 
desire of dominion, but through the zeal of propaga 
ting the Mohammedan religion ; and by that means 
they procured the divine assistance to their under 
takings." The temporal power of Mohammedanism, 
accordingly, has repeatedly risen and declined ; the 
Mohammedan world has again and again changed 
masters, but its spiritual tyranny has subsisted in 
undiminished vigour ; it has lived and reigned un 
altered, through the whole of its period thus far ful 
filled. It is mighty, therefore, by the power of the host 
given unto it. According to another interpretation, 
the passage may be simply designed to teach, that 
the remarkable success gf the Mohammedan power 
is to be referred directly to the special providence 
of God, that the results attained were so entirely to 
transcend all that could be anticipated from the ordi 
nary operation of human causes, that the hand of 
God was to be clearly recognised in every stage of 
its progress. Viewed in this light, the language of 
the Most High respecting Nebuchadnezzar may 
afford a commentary of most striking pertinency upon 
this prediction : " O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, 
and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I 
will send him against an hypocritical nation, and 
against the people of my wrath will I give him a 
charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to 
tread them down like the mire of the streets. How- 
beit, he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think 
so ; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off na 
tions not a few. For he saith, by the strength of 
mine hand I have done it, and by my wisdom ; for I 
am prudent. Shall the ax boast itself against him 
that heweth -therewith 1 or shall the saw magnify 
itself against him that shaketh it! as if the rod 


should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as 
if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood."* 
And he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper 
and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the 
holy people. It should be borne in mind that the 
verses we are now considering contain the an 
gel s interpretation of the symbolic actions per 
formed by the little horn in the vision. Of these 
the principal was his rudely invading the emblematic 
" host," or the hierarchy, violently casting them to 
the ground, and stamping upon them with his feet. 
The language before us is unquestionably exegeti- 
cal of this figurative scenery, and the phrases, " shall 
destroy wonderfully," and " shall destroy the mighty 
and the holy people," are equivalent to saying, he 
shall succeed to a surprising degree in causing mul 
titudes to apostatize from the Christian profession. 
This was to be done by spreading the poison of a 
false religion. For the original word rendered " de 
stroy" is a term implying not merely physical de 
struction, but moral corruption, or the vitiating in 
fluence of false doctrines and principles upon human 
conduct. It is the term employed in the following 
passages : " For all flesh had corrupted his way 
upon the earth;" " Take ye therefore good heed 
unto yourselves, lest ye corrupt yourselves, and 
make you a graven image, &c. ;" " They are cor 
rupt ; they have done abominable works." In allu 
sion to these expressions, it is said in the annuncia 
tion of divine judgments in the Apocalypse, " Thy 
wrath is come, that thou shouldst destroy them that 
destroy the earth ;" i. e. those that corrupt the earth. 
In affixing this sense to the destruction to be achieved 
by the little horn, or the Mohammedan power, it is 
not necessary to exclude the idea of the bloodshed 
and desolation which have marked the progress of 
the Saracen and Turkish arms in planting and de- 

* Isaiah, ch. x. 515. 


fending their dominion. Yet we think the sense of 
a moral depravation, brought about by the introduc 
tion of a spurious and pestilent faith, and accom 
plishing a sad defection among the professors of the 
true religion, answers better to the nature of the 
symbol employed, and is equally accordant with the 
truth of history. 

Fer. 25. And through his policy also he shall cause 
craft to prosper in his hand : and he shall magnify 
himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many : 
he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes. 
The institution of the religion of the Koran with its 
" host," or orders of teachers, and its system of wor 
ship, was Mohammed s masterpiece of " policy." 
It was by this means that his followers supplanted 
the preachers of the Gospel, and converted to the 
faith multitudes of those over whom the temporal 
authority had been extended by the power of the 
sword. " Policy" here is probably to be understood 
in the sense of unprincipled shrewdness, the working 
of a keen but depraved intellect, laying its plans 
with a serpentine subtlety, and executing them with 
an entire recklessness of the moral character of the 
means employed. In this manner success has 
crowned the Mohammedan power ; their vile arts, 
their " craft," their perfidy, have stangely prospered. 
No more striking characteristic of the founder or 
the followers of Islam could be designated. "In 
the exercise of political government," says Gibbon, 
" Mohammed was compelled to abate of the stern 
rigour of fanaticism, to comply in some measure 
with the prejudices and passions of his followers, 
and to employ even the vices of mankind as the in 
strument of their salvation. The use of fraud and 
perfidy, of cruelty and injustice, was often subser 
vient to the propagation of the faith." " In the sup 
port of truth, the arts of fraud and fiction may be 
deemed less criminal ; and he would have started 
at the foulness of the means, had he not been satis- 

APPENDIX. . 193 

fied of the importance and justice of the end." The 
recent Travels in the East of Mr. Madden, an English 
gentleman, furnish some very graphic sketches of 
Mohammedan character, which may be adduced to 
fill up the prophetic portraiture \vc are nmv consi 
dering. "His (the Turk s) h at hostility to 
Christianity is the first principle of his law ; end the 
perfidy it is supposed to enjoin is the most prominent 
feature in his character." " The most striking qua 
lities of the Moslem are his profound ignorance, his 
insuperable arrogance, his habitual indolence, and 
the perfidy which directs his policy in the divan, 
and regulates his ferocity in the field. "f " As to the 
outward man, the Turk is, physically speaking, the 
finest animal, and, indeed, excels all Europeans in 
bodily vigour as well as beauty. As to their moral 
qualities, I found them charitable to the poor, atten 
tive to the sick, and kind to their domestics; but I 
also found them perfidious to their friends, treache 
rous to their enemies, and thankless to their bene 
factors.";): " I never found a Turk who kept his 
word when it was his interest to break it." 

As to the expression, " by peace he shall destroy 
many," it has been interpreted by some as implying, 
that the kingdom represented by the little horn 
should destroy many by wasting invasions while 
their victims were slumbering in a state of negligent 
security ; a peculiarity said to have been exemplified 
in the whole progress of the Saracen arms. Such 
may have been the case ; but we incline to attribute 
another import to the words. Adhering to the sense 
before given to the word " destroy," as implying the 
same as to corrupt, seduce, lead wto destructive error, 
\ve suppose the allusion to be to the fact, that thou 
sands during the victorious progress of the Moslem 
arms accepted of life, safety, and " peace," on con 
dition of their embracing the foul imposture of the 

* Madden s Travels, vol. i. p. 13. t Ib. p. 19. 

Jib. p. 29. $ Ib. p. 31. 



conquerors. Thus it was that "by peace he de 
stroyed many ;" i. e. he corrupted them by the terms 
on which he granted peace. It is notorious that 
these were " death, tribute, or the Koran," and where 
the subject nations escaped the point of the sword, 
they were destroyed by the corrupting and deadly 
influence of the superstition which they embraced. 

But he shall be broken without hand. That is to 
say, not by human hands, or by the instrumentality 
of man, as empires are usually overthrown ; but this 
spiritual dominion is to meet its fate when the stone 
cut out "without hands" is dashed against the 
image, and reduces all the power of despotism and 
delusion to the dust. Expositors of prophecy are 
many of them confident in the belief that the Mo 
hammedan imposture will begin to be broken, with 
out hand, at the time when the great antichristian 
confederacy of the Roman beast is destroyed; and 
at the epoch when the Millennium is on the point of 
commencing. At this period the Gospel will begin 
to be successfully preached throughout the whole 
world; and the issue, it is supposed, will be the uni 
versal gathering of the Gentiles into the pale of the 
Christian Church. During this period, the Moham 
medans will be converted to the true faith ; and 
when their conversion shall have become general, 
the spiritual kingdom of the Eastern little horn will, 
no doubt, be broken. But in that case, it will plainly 
have been broken without hand ; for it will not have 
been broken by the sword of violence, in the hand 
of an earthly conqueror ; but by the invisible agency 
of the Holy Spirit, inclining the hearts of its long- 
deluded votaries to renounce their errors, and to 
embrace the faith of the true Prophet of God. 

Thus we have seen, that the little horn of the 
gymbolical he-goat answers in every important par 
ticular, however circumstantial, which has hitherto 
been accomplished, to the successful imposture of 
Mohammed. The result, therefore, of the whole in- 


quiry must be, that by the little horn, described in 
this chapter of Daniel, is symbolized the spiritual 
kingdom of Mohammedanism. 

Another parallel prophecy is now to be traced in 
the Apocalypse of John, who has confirmed and 
illustrated the most important predictions of Daniel. 


1. And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fell from heaven unto 

the earth : and to him \v:is given the key of the bottomless pit. 

2. And he opened the bottomless pit ; and there arose a smoke out of 
the pit, as the smoke of a jireat furnace ; and the sun and the air 

3. were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came 
out of the smoke locusts upon the earth : and unto them was given 

4. power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it W:LS rum- 
mandod them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, 
neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men 

5. which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. Arid to them it 
was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be 
tormented five months : and their torment was as the torment of a 

6. .scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men 
seek death, and shall not find it ; and shall desire to die, and death 

7. shali flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto 
horses prepared unto battle ; and on their heads were as it were 

8. crowns, like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And 
they had hair as th;; hair of women, and their teeth were as the 

9. teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates 
of ir^n ; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots 

10. of many horses, running to battle. And they had tails like unto scor 
pions ; and there were stings in their tails : and their power was 

11. to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which 
is the angel of the bottomless pit ; whose name, in the Hebrew 
tongue, >s Abaddon ; but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apol- 

12. lyon. One wo is past ; and behold there came two more woes 

13. hereafter. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from 

14. the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God ; saying to 
the sixth angel, which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which 

15. are bound in the river Euphrates. And the four angels were 
loosed which were prepared for an hour and a day, and a month 

16. and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of 
the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand : 

17. and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in 
the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, 
and of jacinth, and brimstone : and the heads of the horses were 
as the heads of lions ; and out of their months issued fire, and 

18. smoke, and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men 
killed; by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which 


19. issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and 
in their tails : for their tails were like unto serpents, and had 
heads, and with them they do hurt. 

" In the prediction of Daniel," observes Mr. Faber, 
" Mohammedanism alone is spoken of: its two prin 
cipal supporters, the Saracens and the Turks, are not 
discriminated from each other : a general history of 
the superstition from its commencement to its termi 
nation is given, without descending to particularize 
the nations by which it should be successively pa 
tronised. In the Revelation of John, this deficiency 
is supplied ; and we are furnished with two distinct 
and accurate paintings, both of the Saracenic locusts 
under their exterminating leader, and of the Eu- 
phratean horsemen of the four Turkish Sultanies." 
These two departments of the prophecy we shall 
now endeavour to explain in their minute parti 

Vef. 1. And I saw a star fall (Gr. "having 
fallen") from heaven unto the earth ; and to him was 
given the key of the bottomless pit, and there arose a 
smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace : 
and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of 
the smoke of the pit. Commentators at the present 
day are almost universally agreed in regarding the 
fifth trumpet as symbolizing and predicting the ap 
pearance of the Arabian impostor, his spurious reli 
gion, and his Saracen followers. But, as it is by 
no means evident, how Mohammed himself can 
properly be represented as "a star falling from 
heaven," the usual symbol of an apostate Christian 
teacher, or of a number of them, we apprehend the 
design of the Holy Spirit in this imagery to be, to 
teach us, that Mohammedanism is to be considered as 
the fruit or product of a Christian heresy. The star 
had fallen before the time of the false prophet, in 
the person of Arius, and other gross heretics ; and 
as the consequence of their apostacy from the truth, 

he providence of God so ordered it, that the deso^ 


lating delusion of Mohammedanism should arise and 
overspread some of the fairest portions of the Church. 
This view of the arch-imposture of Islamism has 
been taken by some very able writers of modern 
times; particularly by Mr. \V hi taker in his " Origin 
of Arianism." The grand heresies, therefore, of the 
Christian Church, previous to the time of Moham 
med, seem to be here personified in the fallen star, 
and represented as being instrumental in introducing 
this master-plague of error and superstition into the 
world. The poetical machinery of the vision is 
supposed to be taken from the sacred oracular cav* 
of the ancient Pagans, which were often thought to 
communicate with the sea, or the great abyss, and 
which were specially valued, when (like that at 
Delphi) they emitted an intoxicating vapour: it is 
used, therefore, with singular propriety in foretelling 
the rise of a religious imposture. There may pos 
sibly be an allusion also to the cave of Hera, whither 
the prophet was wont to retire for the purpose of ex 
cogitating- his system, and from which it really ema 
nated. The opening of the bottomless pit, there 
fore, and the letting out the vapour and smoke of the 
infernal regions, aptly represents the wicked and 
diabolical system of religion, the dense and noxious 
fumes of the corrupt theology which he broached, 
and by means of which so large a portion of Chris 
tendom was finally obscured and involved in dark 
ness. The preternatural darkening of the sun fore 
shows the eclipse of the true religion ; and that of 
the air prefigures the uncontrolled dominion of the 
powers of darkness. As a striking coincidence with 
the signs here predicted, it is worthy of note, that a 
remarkable comet immediately preceded the birth 
of Mohammed ; and that an eclipse of the sun, of ex 
traordinary degree and duration, attended the first 
announcement of his pretended mission. 

Ver. 2. And there came out of the pit locusts upon 
the earth. Arabia has long been noted for giving 

R 2 


birth to prodigious swarms of locusts, which often 
overspread and lay waste the neighbouring 1 coun 
tries ; and it is remarkable, that in a genuine Arabian 
romance, the locust is introduced as the national em 
blem of the Ishmaelites. The symbol, therefore, of 
the locusts issuing out of the smoke strikingly repre 
sents the armies of the Saracens, the martial fol 
lowers of the prophet, first engendered, as it were, 
amid the fumes of his religion, and then marching 
forth, at his command, to conquer arid to proselyte 
the world. The pages of history must be consulted 
to learn the devastations of those hosts of destruc 
tive Saracens, which, under the guidance of Moham 
med and his successors, alighted upon and wasted 
the apocalyptic earth. Yet, notwithstanding the 
phantasms that came forth from the pit of the abyss 
bore a general resemblance to locusts, they were 
marked by several peculiarities, by which they were 
more perfectly adapted to typify the people designed 
to be thus shadowed out. These we shall consider 
as we proceed. 

Fer. 4. And it was commanded them that they 
should not hurt the grass of the earth 9 neither any green 
thing, neither any tree; hut only those men which have 
not the seal of God in their foreheads. By the com 
mand that they should not hurt the grass, nor the 
trees, but men only, it is evident that these were not 
natural, but symbolical locusts ; and also that they 
were under providential control. The same thing 
appears from other attributes assigned them, which 
plainly belong to the objects signified, and not to the 
sign; as the human face, the woman s hair, the 
golden crowns, the iron breastplates. But it is very 
common in the symbolic diction of prophecy, to find 
the literal and the allegorical sense intermixed, and 
that even in the same passage. We are thus fur 
nished with a clew to the real meaning of the sym 
bols. By the precept here given, the emblematic 
locusts were required to act in a manner perfectly 


dissimilar to the ravages of natural locusts : and yet 
how faithfully the command was obeyed, may be in 
ferred from the following very remarkable injunction 
of the Caliph Abubeker to Yezid, upon setting out 
on the expedition against Syria, \\iejirst undertaking 
of the Saracens in the way of foreign conquest. It 
can scarcely be doubted, that these instructions have 
been preserved, under the providence of God, for the 
express purpose of furnishing an illustration of this 
prophetic text. " Remember," said Abubeker, " that 
you are always in the presence of God, on the verge 
of death, in the assurance of judgment, and the hope 
of paradise. When you fight the battles of the 
Lord, acquit yourselves like men, without turning 
your backs ; but let not your victory be stained with 
the blood of women or children. Destroy no palm- 
trees, nor burn any fields of corn. Cut down no 
fruit-trees; nor do any mischief to cattle, only such as 
you kill to eat. When you make any covenant, stand 
to it, and be as good as your word. As you go on, 
you will find some religious persons, who live retired 
in monasteries, and propose to themselves to serve 
God that way: let them alone, and neither kill them, 
nor destroy their monasteries. And you will find 
another sort of people, that belong to the synagogue 
of Satan, who have shaven crowns: be sure you 
^cleave their skulls, and give them no quarter till they 
/either turn Mahometans, or pay tribute."* It has 
accordingly been noticed, that those parts of the 
Roman empire which were left untouched by these 
Saracen hordes, were those in which it appears from 
history the remnant of the true church of God was 
still found residing : they were only to hurt the men 
who had not the mark of God on their foreheads. 

Ver. 5. And to them it was given that they should 
not kill them, but that they should be tormented five, 
months; and their torment was as the torment of a 

* Ock ey s History of the Saracens, vol. i. 



scorpion, when he striketh a man. Mr. Gibbon s un 
designed commentary on these words will show how 
the commission was fulfilled. " The fair option of 
friendship or submission, a battle was proposed to the 
enemies of Mahomet. If they professed the creed 
of Islam, they were admitted to all the temporal and 
spiritual benefits of his primitive disciples, and 
marched under the same banners, to extend the re 
ligion they had embraced. The clemency of the 
prophet was decided by his interests ; yet he seldom 
trampled on a prostrate enemy, and he seemed to 
promise, that on the payment of a tribute, the least 
guilty of his unbelieving subjects might be indulged 
in their worship." The period assigned for the 
power of the locusts, in this prediction, is "five 
months." Prophecy has its peculiar mode of com 
puting time. A day for the most part stands for a 
year. Five months, therefore, of thirty days each, 
amount, in the computation of prophecy, to one hun 
dred and fifty years. As five literal months is the 
utmost term of the duration of the natural plague of 
the locusts, so the prophetic five months accurately 
denote the period of the main conquests of the Sa 
racen empire, computing from the appearance of 
Mohammed to the foundation of Bagdad. " Read," 
says Bishop Newton, " the history of the Saracens, 
and you will find, that their greatest exploits were 
performed, and their greatest conquests made, within 
the space of five prophetic months, or one hundred 
and fifty years, between the year 612, when Ma 
homet opened the bottomless pit, and began publicly 
to teach and propagate his imposture ; and the year 
762, when Almansor built Bagdad, and called it the 
city of peace." The comparison of the locusts tor 
ments to that of the scorpion will be considered sub 

F er. 6. And in those days shall men seek death, and 

shall not find it; and shall desire to die, but death shall 

flee from them. This prediction has usually been 


considered as awfully expressive of the hopeless 
sufferings and despair of Eastern Christendom, under 
the lawless insults, violences, and oppressions sys- 
tt matieally pi <<! by their Saracen masters. We 
would not deny that this may have been alluded to; 
yet, as it would seem that men ous of escaping 
suffering by death, iniuht easily, in a thousand ways 
have accomplished their object, it may be suggested, 
whether the Saracens themselves are not the persons 
here referred to, as coveting death in battle, from a 
view to the honour, and the rewards of such a de 
cease. The following passage from the Koran, is 
worthy of special note in this connexion. "More 
over, ye did sometimes wish for death, before that ye 
met it."* On these words Sale remarks, in a note, 
"that several of Mohammed s followers, who were 
not present at Beder, wished for an opportunity of 
obtaining, in another action, the like honour as 
those had gained who fell martyrs in that event." 
The import of the lamma^o, therefore, may be, that 
God should give to the Moslem hosts such an unin 
terrupted tide of conquests, they should so uni 
formly come off victorious in their engagements, 
and that with such inconsiderable losses, that num 
bers, in the height of their enthusiasm, should pant 
in vain for the glorious privilege of dying in the 
field of battle. 

Ver. 7. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto 
horses prepared unto battle. "Arabia," says Gibbon, 
" is, in the opinion of naturalists,the native country 
of the horse." The horsemanship of the Arabs has 
ever been an object of admiration. " The martial 
youth, under the banner of the Emir, is ever on 
horseback and in the field, to practise the exercise 
of the bow, the javelin, and the scimitar." In cor 
respondence, therefore, with the hieroglyphic of the 
prophet, the strength of the Saracens consisted very 

* Koran, eh. UL 


much in their numerous cavalry, and the unrivalled 
speed of the Arabian coursers forms the most strik 
ing 1 possible emblem of the rapid career of the Sa 
racen armies. 

And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, 
and their faces were as the faces of men. " Make a 
point," says a precept of Mohammed, " of wearing 
turbans; because it is the way of angels." The tur 
ban, accordingly, has ever been the distinctive head 
dress of the Arabs, and their boast has been, that 
they wore, as their common attire, those ornaments, 
which among other people are the peculiar badges 
of royalty. The notice of the " faces of men" 
seems to be intended merely to afford a clew to the 
meaning of the emblem ; to intimate, that not na 
tural locusts, but human beings, were depicted under 
this symbol. 

Ver. 8. And they had httir. as the hair of women, 
and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. The Arabs, 
as Pliny testifies, wore their beards, or rather mus- 
tachios, as men, while their hair, like that of women, 
was flowing or plaited. The " teeth like those of 
lions," has reference to the weapons and imple 
ments of war ; and the " breastplates of iron" to 
the armour made use of by the Saracen troops in 
their expeditions. The "sound of their wings as 
the sound of chariots of many horses running to 
battle," is but a part of the same expressive imagery 
denoting warlike scenes and preparations. 

Fer. 10. Jlnd they had tails like unto scorpions : 
and there were stings in their tails. The interpreta 
tion of the symbols of the Apocalypse must be 
sought for in the Old Testament. From the follow 
ing words of Isaiah (ch. ix. 14, 15) it appears that 
the tail of a beast denotes the false doctrines or the 
superstition which he maintains : " Therefore the 
Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch 
and rush, in one day. The ancient and honourable, 
he is the head ; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he 


is the tail" The emblem, therefore, strikingly repre 
sents the infliction of spiritual wounds by the propa 
gation of poisonous and deadly errors and heresies. 
And nothing is more evident from the page of his 
tory than that the Moslem followers of Mohammed 
have scattered, like scorpions, the venom of their 
doctrines behind them ; and whether conquering or 
conquered, have succeeded in palminir *i new creed 
upon those with whom they have had to do. By 
this symbol, then, we are plainly taught, that the 
plague of the allegorical locusts consisted not only 
in the ravages of war, but in the successful propaga 
tion of a false religion, of which the doctrines should 
be as deleterious in a spiritual point of view, a* t lu 
sting of a scorpion in a natural. In like manner, 
when it is said (ch. xii. 3, 4) of the " great red dragon 
having seven heads and ten horns, that his tail drew 
the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast. 
them to the earth," the explication is, that the \nti- 
christian power shadowed out by this formidable 
monster should be permitted to instil the most per 
nicious errors into the minds of the professed minis 
ters of the truth, and thus bring about their entire 
defection from Christianity. 

Vcr. 11. And they had a king over them, which is 
the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the 
Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue 
hath his name Apollyon. Both these terms signify 
destroyer. Since the locusts are at once secular 
conquerors and the propagators of a false religion, 
their king must stand to them in the double relation 
of a temporal and spiritual head. Such accordingly 
were Mohammed and the Caliphs his successors, who 
must be viewed as jointly constituting the locust- 
king Abaddon; for in the usual language of pro 
phecy, a king denotes, not any single individual, but 
a dynasty or kingdom. The chief of the locusts, 
when they first issued from the pit of the abyss, was 
Mohammed himself ; but during the allotted period 
of the wo which they occasioned, the reigning de- 


stroyer was, of course, the reigning Caliph. If, 
therefore, we were to suppose the genius of Moham 
medanism under the Caliphs to be personified, and 
this symbolical personage to be designated by the 
most appropriate title, Abaddon, the destroyer, would 
be the appellation. 

As the portion of the prophecy thus far considered 
has reference to the origin of Mohammed s impos 
ture, and to the rise, progress, and conquests of the 
Saracens, its earliest abettors and propagators, so the 
remaining part announces the commencement and 
career of the Turkish power, the principal of its later 

Fer. 13. And the sixth angel sounded , and I heard a 
voice from the four horns of the golden .altar, which is 
before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trum 
pet, Loose the jour angels which are bound in (rather at, 
by, in the vicinity of) the great river Euphrates, and 
the four angels were loosed. It is impossible, from the 
train of events, and from the quarter of the world hi 
which we are directed to look for the irruption of 
these prodigious multitudes of horsemen, to mistake- 
to whom the prophecy refers. The four angels who 
are described as bound in the regions bordering on 
the river Euphrates, not in the river itself, are the 
four contemporary sultanies or dynasties, into which 
the empire of the Seljukian Turks was divided 
towards the close of the eleventh century : PERSIA, 
KERMAN, SYRIA, and RHOUM. These sultanies, from 
different causes, were long restrained from extend 
ing their conquests beyond what may be geo 
graphically termed the Euphratean regions, but to 
wards the close of the thirteenth century, the four 
angels on the river Euphrates were loosed in the 
persons of their existing representatives, the united 
Ottoman and Seljukian Turks. The historian of the 
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire must of ne 
cessity be the guide to any English commentator on 
this part of the prophetic history. The following is 
his testimony as to the immense number of the 


Turkish cavalry. " As the subject nations marched 
under the standard of the Turks, their cavalry, both 
men and horses, were proudly computed by millions." 
" On this occasion, the myriads of the Turkish horse 
overspread a frontier of six hundred miles, from 
Taurus to Erzeroutn." 

Ver. 17. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and 
those that sat on them, having breastplates of fire and of 
jacinth^ and brimstone. These prophetic character 
istics of the Euphratean warriors accord in the most 
perfect manner with the description which history 
gives of the Turks. They brought immense armies 
into the field, chiefly composed of horse, and from 
their first appearance on the great political stage of na 
tions their costume has been peculiarly distinguished 
by the colours of scarlet, blue, and yellow, which 
are here denoted by the terms " fire," "jacinth," and 
" brimstone." Rycaut s " Present State of the Otto 
man Empire," published towards the close of the 
seventeenth century, will satisfy the reader on this 

And the heads of the horses were as the- heads of 
lions, and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke 
and brimstone. We have here a symbol which is 
not elsewhere to be met with in the Scriptures. The 
prophetic horses are represented as vomiting out of 
their mouths " fire, and smoke, and brimstone," by 
which it is added, " the third part of men was killed." 
Mede, Newton, Faber, and most other eminent ex 
positors of the Revelation, agree in supposing that 
the flashes of fire attended by smoke and brimstone, 
which seemed to proceed from the mouths of the 
horses, were in reality the flashes of artillery. The 
Turks were among the first who turned to account 
the European invention of gunpowder in carrying 
on their wars. Cannon, the most deadly engine of 
modern warfare, were employed by Mohammed II. 
in his wars against the Greek empire ; and it is said 
that he was indebted to his heavy ordnance for the 



reduction of Constantinople. The prophet, therefore, 
is to be considered as depicting the visionary scene of 
a field of battle, in which the cavalry and artillery 
are so mingled together, that while flashes of fire and 
dense clouds of smoke issued from the cannon, the 
horses heads alone would be dimly discerned through 
the sulphureous mist, and would seem to the eye of 
the spectator to belch forth the smoky flames from 
their own mouths. As the design of this striking 
imagery is to describe the appearances rather than 
the reality of things, the prophet employs an expres 
sion,* " in the vision," or rather " in vision," i. e. ap 
parently, as it seemed, which evidently conveys the 
idea that the phantasm of a battle scene was pre 
sented to the imagination. We may now see how 
far history confirms this interpretation. " Among 
the implements of destruction," says Mr. Gibbon, 
" he (Mohammed II.) studied with peculiar care the 
recent and tremendous discovery of the Latins ; and 
his artillery surpassed whatever had yet appeared in 
the world." " The Ottoman artillery thundered on 
all sides, and the camp and city, the Greeks and 
Turks, were involved in a cloud of smoke which 
could only be dispelled by the final deliverance or 
destruction of the Roman empire." " The great can 
non of Mohammed has been separately an important 
and visible object in the history of the times. But 
that enormous engine, which required, it is said, 
seventy yoke of oxen and two thousand men to 
draw it, was flanked by two fellows almost of equal 
magnitude : the long order of Turkish artillery was 
pointed against the wall; fourteen batteries thun 
dered at once on the most accessible places ; and of 
one of these it is ambiguously expressed, that it was 
mounted with a hundred and thirty guns, or that it 
discharged a hundred and thirty bullets." 

Ver. 19. For their power is in their mouth, and in 


their tails : for their tails were like imto serpents, 
and had heads, <t/nl with than they do hurt. The 
emblematic import of the tail of a beast we have 
already considered. The imagery in the present 
symbol is slightly different from that of the Saracen 
locusts, which had the tails of scorpions ; but the im 
port is the same. Here the tails of the horses ter 
minated in a serpent s head; and it is not a little 
remarkable, that the Turks have been in the habit, 
from the earliest periods of their history, of tying- a 
knot in the extremity of the long flowing tails of 
their horses, when preparing for war; so that their 
resemblance to serpents with swelling heads must 
have been singularly striking. Striking too is the 
fact, that so slight a circumstance should have been 
adverted to by the historian so often quoted, who 
thought as little of being an organ to illustrate the 
predictions of Scripture, as the Turks themselves 
did of being the agents to fulfil them. Speaking of 
Alp Arslan, the first Turkish invader of the Roman 
empire, he says, " With his own hands he tied up 
his horse 9 s tail, and declared that if he were van 
quished, that spot should be the place of his burial." 
The scope of the hieroglyphic here employed is to 
predict the propagation of a deadly imposture by the 
instrumentality of the same warlike power which 
should achieve such prodigious conquests. The 
event has corresponded with the prophecy. Like 
the Saracens of the first wo, the Turks were not 
merely secular conquerors. They were animated 
with all the wild fanaticism of a false religion ; they 
professed and propagated the same theological sys 
tem as their Arabian predecessors; they injured by 
their doctrines no less than by their conquests ; and 
wherever they established their dominion, the Koran 
triumphed over the Gospel. Thus writes Mr. Gib 
bon : " The whole body of the nation embraced the 
religion of Mohammed. 1 " Twenty-five years after 
the death of Basil, his successors were suddenly 


assaulted by an unknown race of barbarians, who 
united the Scythian valour with the fanaticism of 
new converts" 

Sufficient proof has now been afforded, if we mis 
take not, that the appearance of the Arabian pro 
phet in the world, and the rise, progress, and results 
of his imposture, are clearly foretold in the Sacred 
volume. Indeed, it would not be easy to specify 
any admitted subject of prophecy, upon which his 
tory and Providence have thrown a stronger or 
clearer light, -than that which we have considered in 
the preceding pages. Interpreters have been justly 
struck at the surprising exactness of the delinea 
tions, and their perfect accordance with the details 
of history. " The prophetic truths," says Dr. Zouch, 
" comprised in the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse are, 
of themselves, sufficient to stamp the mark of divinity 
upon that book. When I compare them with the page 
of history, I am filled with amazement. The Saracens, 
a people which did not exist in the time of John, and 
the Turks, a nation then utterly unknown, are there 
described in language the most appropriate and dis 
tinct." If then the considerations commonly ad 
duced to account for the rise, progress, and reign of 
Mohammedanism appear to be inadequate, if the 
human causes usually quoted to explain the asto 
nishing success of Mohammedan imposture still seem 
to us to leave many of the phenomena inexplicable, 
and the greatest revolution in the world connected 
with the history of the Church stands forth an un 
solved problem, why should we hesitate to ascribe 
it directly to the determinate will and counsel of the 
Most High, and thus find a clew to all the myste 
ries connected with it ? Why should we be anxious 
to escape the recognition of a Divine interference in 
the rise of this arch-heresy] If we have been cor 
rect in our interpretation of the preceding predic 
tions of Daniel and John, the Mohammedan delusion 
is as real and as prominent a subject of prophecy as 


any in the whole compass of the Bible. Now, to 
insist upon the operation of merely human causes 
in the production of an event which is truly a sub 
ject of prophecy, is in fact to take the government 
of the world out of the hands of God. And this 
principle pushed to the extreme will inevitably lov 
and impugn the sure word of prophecy ; for it makes 
God the predicter of events over which, at the same 
time, he has no special superintendence or control. 
Such a principle cannot stand the least examination. 
When Daniel foretels the fortunes of the four LH 
empires; or when Isaiah speaks of Cyrus by name, 
as one who should accomplish certain great pur 
poses of the Infinite Mind, is it to be supposed, that 
the events predicted were to happen exclusive of 
Providential agency? As easily and as justly then 
may we acknowledge a special pre-ordainment in 
the case of Mohammed, whose still more formidable 
dominion and more lasting and more fatal a<_ r iicy 
in the affairs of men, are equally the theme of un 
questionable predictions. . > admission of this na 
ture militates with the free agency of man. or at all 
affects the moral character of his actions. The 
mere fact that an event is foreknown or foretold by 
the Deity, neither takes away nor weakens the ac 
countability of the agents concerned. Of this, the 
whole Scripture is full of proofs. But the reflecting 
reader will desire no farther confirmation of so plain 
a position. 



[ B ] ; 


CAABA is the name given to a very ancient temple, 
in the city of Mecca, the origin of which is lost in 
the darkness of remote ages. Centuries before 
Mohammed was born, and while the Arabs were yet 
pagans, this building was held to possess a peculiar 
sanctity: pilgrimages were made to it from distant 
regions ; and that tribe or family was accounted the 
most honourable, who were the keepers of its keys. 
It is an oblong, massive structure, built of large 
blocks of different sized stones, joined rudely to 
gether, and is about eighteen paces in length, four 
teen in breadth, and from thirty-five to forty feet in 
height. It has but one door, on the north side, seven 
feet above the ground, wholly plated with silver, 
and embellished with gilt ornaments. From the 
door s being placed, not in the centre, but near to one 
corner of the building, it appears not to have been 
originally designed for a sacred use ; but at what 
time, or for what reasons, it became thus appro 
priated, it is not possible now to determine. Near 
the door, in the angle of the wall of the north-east 
corner of the Caaba, about seven spans from the 
ground, is the celebrated "black stone," so de 
voutly kissed by every pilgrim visiting the sacred 
city. It is of an oval shape, about seven inches in 
diameter, composed of about seven small stones, of 
different sizes and shapes, well joined together with 
cement, and perfectly smooth ; appearing as if the 
original stone had been broken into many pieces by 
a violent blow, and then united again, which indeed 
is reported to have been the fact. A border of some 
kind of cement, rising a little above the surface of 


the stone, surrounds it, and both this and the stone 
are encircled by a silver band. 

According to the fabulous legends of the Mussul 
mans, the "black stone" was brought down from 
heaven by Gabriel, at the creation of the world; 
and was then of a pure white, but has contracted its 
present sable hue from the guilt of the MI is com 
mitted by the sons of men. If a conjecture, how 
ever, may be hazarded, we should not hesitate to 
refer its origin to that peculiar trait in the character 
of the Ishmaelites, which has ever led them to imi 
tate the Israelites. Scarcely a feature in the reli 
gious institutions, usages, or traditions of the Jews, 
but has its spurious counterpart in those of the seed 
of Hagar. Jacob s pillar of stone, at Bethel, would 
of course become celebrated among his descendants. 
In like manner, from causes now unknown, we may 
imagine this stone to have received a similar sanctity 
among the Arabs. This is rendered more probable 
from the circumstance, that one of the names given 
to the Caaba, in the Arabic Ian image, is Beit-Allah, 
house of God; a word of the same import and simi 
lar sound with Beth-el, from which the Greek term 
Baitulia was frequently applied to sacred stones or 
memorial-pillars, like that of Jacob. 

The double roof of the Caaba is supported within 
by three octangular pillars of aloes-wood, between 
which, on a bar of iron, hang a number of silver 
lamps. The four sides without are covered with a 
rich black silk stuff hanging down to the ground, 
and encircled near the top with an embroidered band 
of gold, which compasses the whole building. This 
covering, which is renewed every year, was for 
merly supplied by the Caliphs, afterward by the 
Sultans of Egypt ; but is now sent from Cairo, at the 
expense of the Grand Seignior, at the time of the 
Hadj, when the old one is cut into small pieces and 
sold to the pilgrims for nearly as much money as 
the new one costs. This curtain or veil, called 


Kesoua, is blazoned all over with the words, " There 
is no God, but God," &c. in gold letters of great 
size ; and such a sacredness attaches to it, that the 
camel which transports it to Mecca is ever after ex 
empted from labour. This circumstance of the 
Caaba being covered in the manner described sug 
gests the probability, that the structure was intended 
as a rude imitation of the Jewish Tabernacle, which 
was also enveloped in embroidered curtains without, 
while within was a golden candlestick, with seven 
branches, kept constantly burning. 

The Caaba, at a slight distance, is surrounded 
with a circular enclosure of thirty-two slender gilt 
pillars, between every two of which are suspended 
seven lamps, upon small bars of silver connecting 
the pillars towards the top. These lamps are always 
lighted after sunset. This sacred paling reminds 
us again of the Tabernacle ; the .court of which, 
though of an oblong instead of a circular form, was 
constructed of pillars, and hung with curtains, with 
only a single place of entrance. Within this en 
closure of the Caaba, and almost contiguous to its 
base, lies the " white stone," said to be the sepul 
chre of Ishmael, which receives the rain-water fall 
ing off the flat roof of the edifice through a spout, 
formerly of wood, but now of gold. According to 
the account of Burckhardt, the effect of the whole 
scene, the mysterious drapery, the profusion of gold 
and silver, the blaze of lamps, and the kneeling mul 
titudes, surpasses any thing the imagination could 
have pictured. 

At a small distance from the Caaba, on the east 
side, is the station or place of Abraham, whom the 
Arabs affirm to have been the builder of the temple, 
where there is another stone much respected by the 
Moslems, as they pretend that the patriarch stood 
upon it while employed about the building, and pro 
fess to show the prints of his footsteps to this day. 
Just without the circular court, on its south, north, 


and west sides, are three buildings drsiuaed as ora 
tories, or places of prayer, wlit-re the pilgrim wor 
shippers perform their devotions. Besides these 
there are several small buildings near to the main 
structure, in one of which is the famous well of 
Zemzem, said by the Mussulmans to be the very 
spring which the angel discovered to Hagar in the 
wilderness, and whose waters of course possess the 
most miraculous virtues. They cure all diseases, 
both of body and spirit, and supply the whole town 
for drinking and oblation. It is said to be the only 
sweet water in the whole valley ; but Pitts, an Eng 
lish traveller, found it brackish, and says, the pil 
grims drink it so inordinately, that " they are not 
only much purged, but their flesh breaks out all in 
pimples ; and this they called the purging of their 
spiritual corruption." They not only drink, but 
have buckets of water poured over them, and then 
think their sins are washed into the well. One of 
the miracles of Mecca is, that the water of this well 
never diminishes ; but this is not surprising to the 
true believers, who regard it as having been miracu 
lously created to save the infant Ishmael when dying 
of thirst in the wilderness. Burckhardt, however, 
explains it without a miracle, by supposing that the 
I water flows through the bottom, being supplied by a 
subterraneous rivulet. The water, he says, is per 
fectly sweet, but heavy to the taste, slightly tepid, 
and sometimes in its colour resembles milk. The 
pilgrims frequently destroy the ropes, buckets, and 
other appendages of the well in their eagerness to 
quaff its holy water. 

Surrounding all the objects now described, which 
occupy the centre of an open space, is the square 
colonnade or grand piazza, consisting of a quadruple 
row of columns on one side, and a triple row on 
the other three sides, united by pointed or Gothic 
arches, every four of which support a dome, plas 
tered white the number of these domes amounting 


to one hundred and fifty-two, and the pillars to four 
hundred and forty-eight. From the arches of these 
colonnades are suspended lamps, some of which are 
lighted every night, and the whole of them during 
the nights of the Ramadan. The columns are up 
wards of twenty feet high, and somewhat more than 
a foot and a half in diameter; some are of a reddish- 
gray granite, some of red porphyry, and others of 
white marble. No two capitals or bases are exactly 
alike ; in some cases, by the ignorance of the work 
men, the former have been placed upside down on 
the shafts. The arches and some parts of the walls 
are gaudily painted in stripes of yellow, red, and 
blue, which, as we have already seen, are colours 
peculiar to Mohammedanism. At each of the four 
corners of this immense quadrangular court, tower 
ing above the pillared domes, rises a lofty minaret, 
surmounted with a gilded crescent, the invariable 
accompaniment of the Moslem temple. 

"The high antiquity of the Caaba," says Mr. 
Forster,* " is undisputed. The permanent character 
of its rites is certified by our knowledge of the ad 
herence of the Arabs, in every age, to their ancient 
customs. But, from the uniform consent of Maho 
metan writers, it farther appears that the statues of 
Abraham and Ishmael, which from remote antiquity 
nad held a conspicuous place in the Caaba, and con 
stituted the principal object of its idol worship, re 
mained to the time of Mahomet, and were there 
found by the Mussulmans after the capture of Mecca, 
Mahomet, Abulfeda tells us, when he took Mecca 
in the eighth year of the Hejira, found and destroyed 
in the Caaba, on his entering the temple, the image 
of Abraham holding in his hand seven arrows with 
out heads or feathers, such as the Arabs use in divi 
nation, and surrounded with a great number of 
angels and prophets, as inferior deities, among 

* Mahometanism Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 404. 

ix. 215 

whom, as Al Janabi and other \\ n;- is add, was 
mael with divining arrowa also m his hand. 
" Various external si<n >atriarehal 

rin, may be traced in th" A ire- Mahometan 
worship of the Caal)a. Ainnn-j one ci 

suiliciently remarkable :aim distinct notice in 

this place, inasmuch as it has he-n ;iih: , n ,l 

censured in the Koran.* Tii 11 \rah>- were 

used to compass the Caaba nak< <!, because doih 
they said, were the signs of t to 

<H>d. The celebrated black stone of the ( aab;- al-o, 
primitive source and object of Arabian i r\ , 
strongly indicates the origin to which if i 
uniformly referred. The Arabs attribute itc 
duetion into the temple of Mecca to the in mi, 
posterity of Ishmael. The peculiar kni<l of su; 
lion is just what might be expected to arise from the 
abuse of an early patriarchal custom that oi i ni- 
up stones on particular spots in honour of the true 
God. While the connexion is farther made out by 
the exact correspondence in this particular betu . 
the idolatry of the ancient Israelites and of the; 
Ante-Mahometan Arabians, their identity miulit 
be largely shown from the Old Testament ; but a 
passage from the prophecy of Isaiah will sufli 
The prophet thus indignantly reproves the Jews for 
their idolatry : * Among the smooth stones of the 
stream is thy portion : they, they are thy lot : even 
to them thou hast poured a drink offering, thou hast 
offered a meat offering-. " 

IN connexion with the preceding account of the 
Caaba, the place of the Moslem solemnities, the 
reader may be interested by the following ani 
mated sketch of the pilgrimage to Mecca, from the 

* Koran, ch. viL 


Review (in the London Quarterly) of Burckhardt s 
Travels in Arabia. 

" At a certain distance from the Holy City, all pil 
grims are required to strip themselves naked, throw 
away their garments, and put on the ihram, or ehram, 
two pieces of linen or cotton cloth, generally white, 
one of them wrapped round the loins, the other 
thrown loosely over the neck and shoulders, while 
the head remains wholly uncovered. Burckhardt 
at once complied with this custom, which has occa 
sioned the death of many ; for when the pilgrimage 
happens in winter, the assumption of the ihram is 
extremely prejudicial to the most robust constitu 
tion, more especially to that of the northern Mus 
sulmans, who have been accustomed to thick woollen 
clothes; yet, says Burckhardt, the religious 
zeal of some who visit the Hedjaz is so ardent, that 
if they arrive even several months previous to the 
Hadj, they vow, on taking the ihram, not to throw it 
off till after the completion of their pilgrimage to 
Arafat. It is said* that Haroun Al Raschid and his 
wife Zobeyda once performed the pilgrimage on 
foot from Bagdad to Mekka, clothed only with the 
ihram; but indulged in the luxury of walking on 
splendid carpets the whole way. 

" The ancient Arabs, who reckoned time by lunar 
months, and intercalated a month every three years, 
had the pilgrimage fixed to a certain season, for the 
Hadj is not a Mussulman invention ; but when Ma 
homet ordained that the same pilgrimage should be 
continued, in honour of the living God, which, for 
ages before him, had been, in forgetfulness of the 
original patriarchal faith of the race, performed in 
honoui of senseless idols, he prescribed the cere 
mony to a particular lunar month ; and as the 
modern Arabs do not intercalate, its periodical re 
turns became irregular, and in thirty-three years 
shifted through all the months of the year, from the 
height of summer to the depth of winter 

Al PKXDIX. 217 

"On entering Mekka, the temple or mosque must 
lio immediately visited, whether the stranger be pil 
grim or not. The prescribed ceremonies are, first, 
to repeat certain prayers, in dirt". -rent parts of the 

nple; then to bruin the / . or walk round the. 
Kaaba seven times, kissing the black stone at each 
circuit; then to proceed to the well of /ein/ein, 
and drink as much water as they wish or can get. 
The second ceremony whicli the pilgrim lias to per 
form is, to pro-- :) the hill of S/afa, and there re 
peat certain prescribed prayers before he sets out 
on the holy walk, or say, which is along a level spot, 
about six hundred paces in length, terminating at a 
stone platform, called Meroti This walk, which 
in certain places must be a run, is to he repeated 
seven times, the pilgrims reciting prayers uninter 
ruptedly, with a loud voice the whole time. The 
third ceremony is that of shaving the head and walk 
ing to the Omra, about one hour and a half from 
Mekka, chanting pious ejaculations all the way. 
The two former ceremonies must, after this, be 
again repeated. The walk round the Kaaba seven 
times, may be repeated as oft as the pilgrim thinks 
fit, and the more frequently the more meritorious. 

"About seventy thousand persons assembled at 
Mekka, when Burckhardt made his pilgrimage, and 
submitted to the performance of these ceremonies. 
This is the least number which the Mussulmans told 
Ali Bey there must necessarily be assembled at every 
pilgrimage, on Mount Arafat ; and that in case any 
deficiency should occur, angels are sent down from 
heaven to complete the number. Pitts says pre 
cisely the same thing. When Ali Bey went through 
this part of the ceremony, he tells us, an assemblage 
of eighty thousand men, two thousand women, and 
one thousand little children, with sixty or seventy 
thousand camels, asses, and horses, marched through 
the narrow valley leading from Arafat, in a cloud of 
dust, carrying a forest of lances, guns, swivels, &c. 



and yet no accident occurred that he knew of, ex 
cept to himself, he received, it seems, a couple of 
wounds in his leg. One would have thought that 
Burckhardt s seventy thousand was a prodigious 
number ; yet he tells us, that two only of the five or 
six regular caravans made their appearance this 
year, the Syrian and the Egyptian. About four 
thousand pilgrims from Turkey came by sea ; and 
perhaps half as many from other distant quarters of 
the Mahommedan world. The Syrian was always 
considered the most numerous. It is stated, that 
when the mother of Motessem b lllah, the last of the 
Abbassides, performed the pilgrimage in the year of 
the Hejira 631, her caravan was composed of one 
hundred and twenty thousand camels that in 1814 
consisted of not more than four or five thousand per 
sons, and fifteen thousand camels. Barthema states 
the Cairo caravan, when he was at Mekka, to have 
amounted to sixty-four thousand camels; in 1814 
the same caravan consisted mostly of Mahomet Ali s 
troops, with very few pilgrims. But Burckhardt says., 
that in 1816, a single grandee of Cairo joined the 
Hadj with one hundred and ten camels, for the trans 
port of his baggage and retinue, whose travelling 
expenses alone, he supposes, could not have been 
]ess than ten thousand pounds. The tents and equip 
age of the public women and dancing girls were 
among the most splendid in this caravan. The 
Moggrebyn (i. e. Western, or Barbary) caravan, com 
prised, of late years, altogether from six to eight thou 
sand men (it has been forty thousand) ; in the year 
1814 very few joined it. The Eastern caravan of 
this year consisted chiefly of a large party of Ma 
lays from Java, Sumatra, and the Malabar coast. A 
solitary Afghan pilgrim, an old man of extraordinary 
strength, had walked all the way from Caubul to 
Mekka, and intended to return in the same manner. 
Vast numbers of Bedouins flock to Mekka at the 
time of the pilgrimage ; and others from every part 


of Arabia. Many of these pilgrims depend entirely 
M iice, botli on the journey and at Mekka, 
on beiruinir; others bring some small productions 
from tlirii ective countries for sale. 

" Tlir Al< :>yns, for example, brin- their red 
bonnets and woollen cloaks; tin- Kuropeaii Turks, 
shoes and slippers, hardware, embroidered siulVs, 
sweetmeats, ai\iher, trinkets of European manufac 
ture) knit silk purses, &c.; the Turks of Anatolia, 
bring carpets, silks, and Angora shawls; the Per 
sians, Cashmere shawls and large silk handkerchi. 
the Afghans, tooth-brushes, made of the spongy 
boughs of a tree growing in Bokhara, beads of a yel 
low soapstone, and plain coarse shawls, manufac 
tured in their own country; the Indians, the nu 
merous productions of their rich and extensive re 
gion; the people of Yemen, snakes for the Persian 
pipes, sandals, and various other works in leather; 
and the Africans bring various articles adapted to 
the slave trade. 

" When all the required ceremonies have been gone 
through at Mekka, the whole concourse of pilgrims 
repair together on a certain day to Mount Arafat, 
some on camels, some on mules, or asses, and the 
greater number barefooted, this being the most me 
ritorious way of performing a journey of eighteen or 
twenty miles. We were several hours, says 
Burckhardt, before we could reach the outskirts 
of the town, so great was the crowd of camels. Of 
the half-naked Hadjis, all dressed in the white 
ihram some sat on their camels, mules, or asses, 
reading the Koran, some ejaculated loud prayers, 
while others cursed their drivers, and quarrelled with 
those near them, who were choking up the pas 
sages. Having cleared a narrow pass in the moun 
tains, the plain of Arafat opened out. Here the dif 
ferent caravans began to disperse in search of places 
to pitch their tents. Hadjis were seen in every di 
rection wandering among the tents in search of their 

220 APPE]S 7 DIX. 

companions, whom they had lost in the confusion 
along the road ; and it was several hours before the 
noise and clamour had subsided. 

"In the morning, Burckhardt ascended the summit 
of Mount Arafat, from whence he counted about 
three thousand tents, dispersed over the plain, of 
which two -thirds belonged to the two Hadj cara 
vans, and to the suite and soldiers of Mohammed 
Ali ; but the greatest number of the assembled mul 
titudes were, says our traveller, like myself, 
without tents. Those of the wife of Mohammed 
Ali, the mother of Tousoun and Ibrahim Pasha, 
were magnificent, the transport of her baggage 
alone, from Djidda to Mekka, having required five 
hundred camels. 

" Her tent was in fact an encampment, consisting 
of a dozen tents of different sizes, inhabited by her 
women ; the whole enclosed by a wall of linen cloth, 
eight hundred paces in circuit, the single entrance 
of which was guarded by eunuchs in splendid 
dresses. Around this enclosure were pitched the 
tents of the men who formed her numerous suite. 
The beautiful embroidery on the exterior of this 
linen palace, with the various colours displayed in 
every part of it, constituted an object which re 
minded me of some descriptions in the Arabian Tales 
of a Thousand and One Nights. 

"Mr. Burckhardt says, he estimated the number of 
persons assembled on the plain at seventy thousand ; 
but whether any, or how many of them, were sup 
plied by angels, he does not say : it is, however, 
deserving of remark, that he is the third traveller 
who mentions the same number. This enormous 
mass, after washing and purifying the body accord 
ing to law, or going through the motions where 
water was not to be had, now pressed forwards 
towards the mountain of Arafat, and covered its 
sides from top to bottom. At the appointed hour, 
the Cadi of Mekka took Ms stand on a stone plat- 


form on the top of the mountain, and began his 
sermon, to which the multitude appeared to listen in 
solemn and respectful silence. At every pause, 
however, the assembled multitudes waved the skirts 
of their //; over their heads and rent the air 

wiili shouts of Lebeyk, alhihuma Icbryk / Here 
ire are, at thy commands, O Uod! * During tin- 
wavings of the ihramsf says BurckhaYdt, the side 
of the mountain, thickly crowded as it was by the 
people in their white garments, had the appearance 
of a cataract of water ; while the green umbrellas, 
with which several thousand hadjis, sitting on their 
camels below, were provided, bore some resemblance 
to a verdant plain. The assemblage of such a 
multitude, to every outward appearance humbling 
themselves in prayer and adoration before God, 
must be an imposing and impressive spectacle to him 
who first observes it, whether Mahommedan, Chris 
tian, Jew, or Pagan. It was a sight, indeed, 
says Pitts, able to pierce one s heart, to bohold so 
many in their garments of humility and mortifica 
tion, with their naked heads and cheeks watered with 
tears, and to hear their grievous sighs and sobs, beg 
ging earnestly for the remission of their sins. 
Burckhardt mentions the first arrival of a black 
Darfoor pilgrim at the temple, at the time when it 
was illuminated; and from eight to ten thousand 
persons in the act of adoration, who was so over 
awed, that, after remaining prostrate for some time, 
* he burst into a flood of tears ; and in the height of 
his emotion, instead of reciting the usual prayers 
of the visiter, only exclaimed " O God ! now take 
my soul, for this is paradise !" 

" As the sun descended behind the western moun 
tains, the Cadi shut his book : instantly the crowds 
rushed down the mountains : the tents were struck, 
and the whole mass of pilgrims moved forward 
across the plain on their return. Thousands of 
torches were now lighted ; volleys of artillery and 



of musketry were fired : sky-rockets innumerable 
were let off; the Pasha s band of music were played 
till they arrived at a place called Mezdelfe, when 
every one lay down on the bare ground where he 
could find a spot. Here another sermon was 
preached, commencing with the first dawn, and con 
tinuing till the first rays of the sun appear, when the 
multitude again move forward, with a slow pace, to 
Wady Muna, about three miles off. This is the 
scene for the ceremony of throwing stones at the 
Devil ; every pilgrim must throw seven little stones 
at three several spots in the valley of Muna, or 
twenty-one in the whole ; and at each throw repeat 
the words, 4 In the name of God ; God is great ; we 
do this to secure ourselves from the Devil and his 
troops. Joseph Pitts says, as I was going to 
throw the stones, a facetious hadji met me ; saith 
he, " You may save -your labour at present, if you 
please, for I have hit out the Devil s eyes already." 
The pilgrims are here shown a rock with a deep split 
in the middle, which was made by the angel turning 
aside the knife of Abraham, when he was about to 
sacrifice his son Isaac. Pitts, on being told this, 
observes, it must have been a good stroke indeed. 
The pilgrims are taught also to believe, that the cus 
tom of stoning the Devil is to commemorate the 
endeavour of his satanic majesty to dissuade Isaac 
from following his father, and whispering in his ear 
that he was going to slay him. 

" This stoning in the valley of Muna occupies a 
day or two, after which comes the grand sacrifice 
of animals, some brought by the several hadjis, 
others purchased from the Bedouins for the occasion ; 
the throats of which must always be cut with their 
faces towards the Kaaba. At the pilgrimage in 
question, the number of sheep thus slaughtered in 
the name of the most merciful God, is represented 
as small, amounting only to between six and eight 
thousand. The historian Kotobeddyn, quoted by 


Burckhardt, relates, that when the Caliph Mokteda 
performed the pilgrimage, in the year of the Hejira 
350, he sacrificed on this occasion forty thousand 
camels and cows, and fifty thousand sheep. Bar- 
thema talks of thirty thousand oxen being slain, and 
their carcasses given to the poor, who appeared to 
him more anxious to have their bellies filled than 
their sins remitted. One is at a loss to imagine 
where, in such a miserable country, all these th<u- 
sanda and tens of thousands of camels, cows, and 
sheep can possibly be subsisted; the numbers n: 
be exaggerated, but there is no question of th< Mi- 
be ing very great. The feast being ended, all the 
pilgrims had their heads shaved, threw off the ihrarn^ 
and resumed their ordinary clothing ; a larger fair 
was now held, the valley blazed all night with illu 
minations, bonfires, the discharge of art ill aid 
fireworks ; and the hadjis then returned to Mekka. 
Many of the poorer pilirrims, however, remained to 
feast on the offals of the slaughtered sheep. At 
Mecca the ceremonies of the Kaaba and the Drura 
were again to be repeated, and then the hadj was 
truly perfumed. Burckhardt makes no mention of 
any females becoming hadjis by a visit to Arafat, 
though Ali Bey talks of two thousand. There is no 
absolute prohibition; but from what follows, no great 
encouragement for the fair sex to go through the 

" * The Mohammedan law prescribes, that no un 
married woman shall perform the pilgrimage ; and 
that even every married woman must be accompa 
nied by her husband, or at least by a very near re 
lation (the Shaffay sect does not even allow the 
latter). Female hadjis sometimes arrive from 
Turkey for the hadj ; rich old widows who wish to 
see Mekka before they die ; or women who set out 
with their husbands, and lose them on the road by 
disease. In such cases the female finds at Djidda 
delyls (or, as this class is called, Muhallil) ready to 


facilitate their progress through the sacred territory 
in the character of husbands. The marriage con 
tract is written out before the Kadhy ; and the lady, 
accompanied by her delyl, performs the pilgrimage 
to Mekka, Arafat, and all the sacred places. This, 
however, is understood to be merely a nominal mar 
riage ; and the delyl must divorce the woman on his 
return to Djidda : if he were to refuse a divorce, the 
law cannot compel him to it, and the marriage would 
be considered binding : but he could no longer ex 
ercise the lucrative profession of delyl ; and my in 
formant could only recollect two examples of the 
delyl continuing to be the woman s husband. I be 
lieve there is not any exaggeration of the number, 
in stating that there are eight hundred full-grown 
delylsj besides boys who are learning the profession. 
Whenever a shop-keeper loses his customers, or a 
poor man of letters wishes to procure as much 
money as will purchase an Abyssinian slave, he 
turns delyl. The profession is one of little repute ; 
but many a prosperous Mekkawy has, at some period 
of his life, been a member of it. 

" Burckhardt remained at Mekka a whole month 
after the conclusion of the hadj, at which time it 
appeared like a deserted town. 

" Of its brilliant shops one-fourth only remained ; 
and in the streets, where a few weeks before it was 
necessary to force one s way through the crowd, not 
a single hadji was seen, except solitary beggars who 
raised their plaintive voices towards the windows of 
the houses which they supposed to be still inhabited. 
Rubbish and filth covered all the streets, and no 
body appeared disposed to remove it. The skirts 
of the town were crowded with the dead carcasses 
of camels, the smell from which rendered the air, 
even in the midst of the town, offensive, and cer 
tainly contributed to the many diseases now preva 

"Disease and mortality, which succeed to the 


fatigues endured on the journey, or are caused by the 
liirht covering of the ihram, the unhealthy lodgii 
ai .Mckka, the bad fare, and sometimes absolute 
want, fill the mosque with dead bodies carried thither 
to receive the Imam s prayer, or with sick persons, 
many of whom uhen their dissolution approaches, 
are brought to the colonnades, that they may cither 
be cured by the sight of the Kaabu, or at least to 
have the satisfaction of expiring within the sacred 
enclosure. Poor hadjis, worn out with disease and 
hunger, are seen dragging their emaciated bodies 
along the columns ; and when no longer able to 
stretch forth their hand to ask the passenger for 
charity, they place a bowl to receive alms near the 
mat on which they lay themselves. When they feel 
their last moments approaching, they cover them 
selves with their tattered garments ; and often a whole 
day passes before it is discovered that they are dead. 
For a month subsequent to the conclusion of the 
liadj, I found, almost every morning, corpses of pil 
grims lying in the mosque ; .myself and a Greek hadji, 
whom accident had brought to the spot, once closed 
the eyes of a poor Moggrebyn pilgrim, who had 
crawled into the neighbourhood of the Kaaba to 
breathe his last, as the Moslems say, in the arms 
of the prophet and of the guardian angels. He inti 
mated by signs his wish that we should sprinkle 
Zemzem water over him; and while we were doing so 
he expired : half an hour afterward he was buried. 

" The situation of Mekkais singularly unhappy, and 
ill adapted for the accommodation of the numerous 
votaries of Islam that flock thither to perform the 
rites of the pilgrimage. The town is built in a nar 
row valley, hemmed in by barren mountains ; the 
water of the wells is bitter or brackish ; no pastures 
for cattle are near it ; no land fit for agriculture ; 
and the only resourc.e from which its inhabitants de 
rive their subsistence is a little traffic, and the 
visits of the hadjis. Mr. Burckhardt estimates 


the population of the town and suburbs at twenty- 
five to thirty thousand stationary inhabitants, to 
which he adds three or four thousand Abyssinian 
and black slaves. 

" On the whole, notwithstanding all that Burckhardt 
records as to certain symptoms of enthusiasm in the 
course of his hadj, it is sufficiently plain, that even 
in the original seat of Mahommedanism, the reli 
gious feelings of the people have cooled down con 
siderably. The educated Moslems every where are 
mostly of the sect of Mahomet Ali of Egypt, nor can 
we have any doubt that all things are thus working 
together for the re-establishment of the true religion 
in the regions where man was first civilized, and 
where the oracles of God were uttered. In the 
mean time, the decline of the arch-heresy of the 
East will be regretted by no one who judges of the 
tree by the fruit. A long residence, says Burck 
hardt, among Turks, Syrians, and Egyptians (and 
no man knew them better) justifies me in declar 
ing that they are wholly deficient in virtue, honour, 
and justice ; that they have little true piety, and still 
less charity or forbearance ; and that honesty is only 
to be found in their paupers or idiots. " 




THE word KORAN, derived from ihe verb KARA, to 
read, properly signifies the reading, legend, or that 
rvhich ought to be read; by which n;ime the Moham 
medans denote not only the entire book or volun 
of the Koran, but also any particular chapter or sec 
tion of it, just as the Jews, in their laimnauc, call 
the whole Scripture, or any part of it, by the name 
of Karah, or Mikra, words of precisely the sani 
origin and import as Koran. This book muM lie re 
garded as the code of laws, religion, and morality, 
which Mohammed, in his character of legislator and 
prophet, promulgated to the people of Arabia. \ - 
it is therefore the only book of law amon<r the Mus 
sulmans, and comprehends also the religious doc 
trines -which they are taught to believe, it follows, 
that with them a doctor in the law is also a doctor 
in theology, which two professions are wholly inse 
parable. This law, upon which is founded all their 
theology and jurisprudence, is comprised in the 
Koran, in the same manner as the civil code of the 
Jews is comprised in the five books of Moses. 

The collection of moral traditions, composed of 
the sayings and actions of the prophet, and forming 
a kind of supplement to the Koran, the Moslems call 
the Sonnah; just as the Jews have denominated the 
book containing their oral traditions, the Mishna. 

The entire Koran is divided into one hundred and 
fourteen portions, which are denominated Suras, or 
chapters; and these again into smaller divisions, 
called Ayat, answering nearly, though not exactly, 
to our verses. 

There appears to be an entire absence of any thing 
like design or method in either the larger or the 


smaller divisions. Neither the time at which they 
were delivered, nor the matter they contain, was the 
rule by which they were arranged. They were, in 
fact, apparently thrown together without order or 
meaning. One verse has seldom any connexion 
with the preceding; and the same subject, unless it 
be some narrative, such as that of Abraham, Joseph, 
or Pharaoh, distorted from the Sacred Scriptures, is 
in no case continued for a dozen verses in succes 
sion ; each one appears an isolated precept or ex 
clamation, the tendency and pertinence of which it 
is often difficult and frequently impossible to dis 
cover. The first nine titles will convey to the reader 
a fair conception of the arrangement, and something 
of the nature, of the subjects enbraced in the whole. 
1. The Preface. 2. The Cow. 3. The Family of 
Irani. 4. Women. 5. Table. 6. Cattle. 7. Al 
Araf. 8. The Spoils. 9. The Declaration of Im 

As to the plan or structure of this pseudo-revela 
tion, it is remarkable that Mohammed makes God 
the speaker throughout. This should be borne in 
mind by the reader in perusing the extracts given in 
the preceding work. The addresses are for the 
most part made directly to the prophet, informing 
him what he is to communicate to his countrymen 
and the world; in other cases, the precepts, pro 
mises, or threatenings are addressed immediately to 
the unbelievers, or the faithful, according as the 
burden of them applies to the one or the other. The 
following citations may serve as a specimen of the 
whole book. " Now we know that what they speak 
grieveth thee : yet, they do not. accuse thee of false 
hood ; but the ungodly contradict the signs of God. 
And apostles before thee have been accounted liars : 
but they patiently bore their being accounted liars, 
and their being vexed, until our help came unto 
them." " Say, Verily I am forbidden to worship the 
false deities which ye invoke besides God. Say, I 


will not follow your desires; for then should I err, 
neither should 1 he one of those wh 
reeled. Say, I ! . e according to the plain decla 
ration which I have r i my Lord; hut 
h;ive forged lies concernim: him." 

," which is almost of ; nal occur in 

the Koran, is generally pr : to p 
para<rra >ntaiuing a message to the people; and 

the word "Answer" is employed wherever a 
hypothetical or foreseen objection* are to he ob 
viated, or any doubtful questions to be resoh 
"They will ask thee also what they shall bestow in 
alms: answer, What ye have to spare. Ti ill 
also ask thee concerning orphans : answer, T< 
righteously with them is best ; and if ye intern* 
with the management of what belongs to them, 
them no wrong; they are your brethen: ( 
knoweth the corrupt dealer from the righteous ; and 
if God please he will surely distress you, for Cod is 
mighty and wise," To others the Divine mandal 
are usually couched in the following style : " <) m< -n, 
now is the apostle come unto you with truth from 
the Lord; believe, therefore ; it will be hett< 
you." "We have formerly destroyed the genera 
tions who were before you, O men of M< 
when they had acted unjustly, and our apostles had 
come unto them with evident miracles, and tl; 
would not believe. Thus do we reward the wicked 
people." " O true believers, wage war against such 
of the infidels as are near you ; and let them find 
severity in you : and know that God is with those 
that fear him." " O true believers, raise not your 
voices above the voice of the prophet ; neither 
speak loud unto him in discourse, as ye speak loud 
unto one another, lest your works become vain, and 
ye perceive it not." 

Immediately after the title, at the head of every 
chapter, with the single exception of the ninth, is 
prefixed the solemn form, "!N THE NAME OF THE 


MOST MERCIFUL GOD." This form is called by the 
Mohammedans, Bismillfth, and is invariably placed 
by them at the beginning of all their books and 
writings in general, as a peculiar mark or distin 
guishing characteristic of their religion: it being 
deemed a species of impiety to omit it. The Jews, 
for the same purpose, make use of the form, " In the 
name of the Lord," or, " In the name of the great 
God :" and the Eastern Christians that of, " In the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 

In its general outline of facts, the Koran corres 
ponds with the Old Testament in the following his 
torical details : the accounts of the creation of the 
world ; of the fall of Adam ; of the general deluge ; 
of the deliverance of Noah and his family in the 
ark ; the call of Abraham ; the stories of Isaac and 
Ishmael; of Jacob arid the patriarchs; the selec 
tion of the Jews as God s chosen people ; the pro 
phetic office, miracles, and administration of Moses ; 
the inspiration and authority of the Hebrew histo 
rians, prophets, and psalmists, especially of David 
and Solomon ; and, lastly, of the promise of the ad 
vent of the Messiah, with many of the accompany 
ing predictions respecting it. 

Again, with the New Testament the Koran con 
curs in the recognition of Jesus Christ as the pro 
mised Messiah of the Jews ; in his miraculous con 
ception by the breath or Spirit of God ; his imma 
culate nativity of the Virgin Mary; his title of 
Logos, or Word of God ; in the miraculous birth of 
John the Baptist, son of Zecharias, as his forerunner ; 
in his performance of many mighty signs and mira 
cles, such as healing the sick,- raising the dead, and 
controlling and casting out devils; in his rejection 
and persecution by his own countrymen ; his con 
demnation to the death of the cross ; his bodily as 
cension into heaven ; his officiating there as a Me 
diator and Intercessor between God and man, and 


as Judge of all men at the last day. After the ex 
ample, however, of sonic of tin- aneimt heret 
Mohammed, as ap; iVoin the foDowing passag 

lied the reality of the ^ ;r*s cru >n: 

"And for that they have not believed in ,nd 

have spoken a irai nst Man ahiinny; and 

have said, Verily we have slain Chri>t Jesus, the 
son of Mary, the apostle of God ; yet they slew him 
not, neither crucified him, hut he was represented 
by one in his likeness. They did not really kill 
him; but God took him up to himself: and God is 
mighty and wise." "And the .lews devised a stra 
tagem against him; but God devised a stratagem 
against them; and God is the best deviser of stra 
tagems." This stratagem, accord ing to the M<<- 
L ins, was God s taking Jesus up into heaven, and 
stamping his likeness on another person, who was 
apprehended and crucified in his stead. Their con 
stant tradition is, that 11 not Jesus himself who 
underwent that ignominious death, but somebody else 
in his shape and resemblance. 

These numerous coincidences of the Koran with 
the facts and doctrines of the Bible are strangely 
interspersed with matter the most incongruous; 
with extravagant fables, monstrous perversions of 
the truth, and ridiculous and endless puerilities. 
This is accounted for on the supposition, that while. 
the authentic facts were derived immediately from 
the canonical Scriptures, the fictions and absurdities 
were deduced in part from the traditions of the Tal- 
mudic and Rabbinical w r riters ; and in part from the 
apocryphal Gospels, or from the books of Adam, of 
Seth, of Enoch, of Noah, and other similar fabrica 
tions, well known in church history as having been 
extensively in use among the heretics of the first 
centuries. ~ 

A specimen or two of the manner in which some of 
the best-known narratives of the Old Testament ap 
pear in the Koran, may not be unsuitably adduced here. 



" Our messengers also came formerly unto Abra 
ham with good tidings. They said, Peace be upon 
thee. And he answered, And on you be peace ! and 
he tarried not, but brought a roasted calf. And his 
wife Sarah was standing by; and she laughed: and 
we promised her Isaac, and after Isaac, Jacob. She 
said, Alas ! shall I bear a son, who am old ; this my 
husband also being advanced in years ? Verily, this 
would be a wonderful thing. The angels answered, 
Dost thou wonder at the effect of the command of 
God 1 The mercy of God and his blessings be upon 
you. And when his apprehension had departed from 
Abraham, and the good tidings of Isaac s birth had 
come unto him, he disputed with us concerning the 
people of Lot ; for Abraham was a pitiful, compas 
sionate, and devout person. The angels said unto 
him, O Abraham, abstain from this ; for now is the 
command of thy Lord come, to put their sentence in 
execution, and an inevitable punishment is ready to 
fall upon them. And when our messengers came 
unto Lot, he was troubled for them; and his arm 
was straitened concerning them ; and he said, This 
is a grievous day. And his people came unto him, 
rushing upon him : and they had formerly been guilty 
of wickedness. Lot said unto them, O my people, 
these my daughters are more lawful for you : there 
fore fear God, and put me not to shame by wronging 
my guests. Is there not a man .of prudence among 
you 1 They answered, Thou knowest that we have 
no need of thy daughters ; and thou well knowest 
what we would have. He said, If I had strength 
sufficient to oppose thee, or I could have recourse 
unto a powerful support, I would certainly do it. 
The angels said, O Lot, verily we are the messen 
gers of thy Lord ; they shall by no means come in 
unto thee. Go forth, therefore, with thy family, in 
some part of the night, and let not any of you turn 
back : but as for thy wife, that shall happen unto her 
which shall happen unto them. Verily, the predic- 


tion of their punishment shall be fulfilled in the 


" And Abraham said, Verily, I am going unto my 
Lord who will direct me. O Lord, irnmt me a 
righteous issue! Wherefore we acquainted him 
that he should have a son, who should he a meek 
youth. And when he had attained t<> yean of dis 
cretion, and could join in acts of religion with him, 
Abraham said unto him, O my son, vmly I saw in ;i 
dream that I should offer thee in sacrifice: consider 
therefore what thou art of opinion I should do. He 
answered, O my father, do what thou art commanded: 
thou shalt find me, if God please, a patient person. 
And when they had submitted themselves to the 
divine will, and Abraham had laid his son prostrate 1 
on his face, we cried unto him, O Abraham, now 
hast thou verified the vision. Tims do we reward 
the righteous. Verily, this was a manifest trial. 
And we ransomed him .with a noble victim. 

The following passage may serve to illustrate the 
correspondence of the Koran with the historical re 
lations of the New Testament : 

" Zacharias called on his Lord, and said, Lord, 
give me from thee a good offspring, for thou art the 
hearer of prayer. And the angels called to him, 
while he stood praying in the chamber, saying, 
Verily, God promiseth thee a son, named John, who 
shall bear witness to THE WORD which cometli from 
God ; an honourable person, chaste, and one of the 
righteous prophets. He answered, Lord, how shall 
I have a son, when old age hath overtaken me, and 
my wife is barren ? The angel said, So God doth 
that which he pleaseth. Zacharias answered, Lord, 
give me a sign. The angel said, Thy sign shall be, 
that thou shalt speak unto no man for three days, 
otherwise than by gesture. And when the angels 
said, OMary, verily, God hath chosen thee, and hath 
purified thee, and hath chosen thee above all the 
women of the world : when the angels said, O Mary, 



verily, God sendeth thee good tidings, that thou 
shalt bear THE WORD, proceeding from himself; his 
name shall be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary; honour 
able in this world and in the world to come, and one 
of those who approach near to the presence of God : 
She answered, Lord, how shall I have a son, since 
a man hath not touched me ? The angel said, So 
God createth that which he pleaseth : when he de- 
creeth a thing, he only saith unto it, Be, and it is : 
God shall teach him the Scripture, and wisdom, and 
the law, and the Gospel ; and he shall appoint him 
his apostle to the children of Israel." 

But besides agreements with the Old and New 
Testaments of this palpable kind, the Koran betrays 
its obligations to the sacred volume by numerous 
coincidences, more or less direct, with the senti 
ments, the imagery, and the phraseology of Scrip 
ture. Indeed, the most interesting light in which 
the Koran is to be viewed is as a spurious resem 
blance of the inspired oracles of Jews and Christians. 
The extent to which the Bible of Mohammedans 
is made up of plagiarisms from the true revelation 
can scarcely be conceived by one who has not insti 
tuted a special inquiry into the contents of each, 
with the express design of tracing the analogy be 
tween them. Of the fact, however, of the Koran 
being constructed, in great measure, from the mate 
rials furnished by the Old and New Testaments, no 
one can doubt, who is assured that the following is 
but a specimen of hundreds of similar correspon 
dencies which might easily be made out between 
the two. 


Take heed that ye do not your Make not your alms of none 

alms before men to be seen of them ; effect, by reproaching or mischief; 

otherwise ye have no reward of as he that layeth out what he hath, 

your Father which is in heaven. to appear unto men to give alms. 

Jesus of Nazareth, a man ap- We gave unto Jesus, the son of 

proved of God among you by mira- Mary, manifest signs, and strength 

cles and wonders, and signs which ened him with the Holy Spirit. 
God did by him. 




Thou shall give life for 1 iff, tooth 
for tooth, foot *, burning for 

burning, wound for wound, stripe 
for stripe. 

But their minds were blindt <1 : 

for until this day remameth the 

same veil untaken a way in then 

ini? of the Old Testament . But 

u unto this day when Mos s is 

veil is upon thi ir heart. 
They said then ton- unto him, 
What sit, M shew-st thou then, that 
wi i-o and believe thee? 

In i rining (;<nl created t lu 

ll a\en and the earth. And ( 

e light, and there 

And when he (Moses) was full 
f.rty years old, it earne into 

irt to visit his brethren, the chil- 
jvn of Israel. 

1 in th<. latter time of tlieir 
kingdom, when the transgr 
are come to the full, a king of fierce 
uteiiance, and understanding 
dark sentences, shall stand up. 

I will open my mouth in para 
bles ; I will utter things which 
have been kept secret from the 
foundation of the world. 

And the seventh angel sotini 
and there were gnva vo: 
h aven, saying, The kingdoms of 
this world are become the king 
doms of our Lord and of hisC. hrist. 

For behold, I Created new heavens 
and a new earth. We look for n 
heavens and a new earth. I will 
cause you to come up out of your 
graves." And every man shall re 
ceive his own reward according to 
his own labour. 

I was envious at the foolish when 
I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 
Thus my heart was grieved. 

If thou, Lord, shouldst mark ini 
quities, O Lord who shall stand ? 


We have therein commai 

:ial they should j: lor 

life, and i 

nose, and ear lor ear, and tout), 
tooth, and that wounds should be 

puni>!i .ation. 

Tli- on who hearkeneth 

unto thee when thou r- the 

-an ; but we have cast v. 

over ti rts, that t! >uld 

not nil , and i. - in 
their ears. 

The ii:l I 

t <!U\MI unto him from 
Lord, we \\ill not hi 
It i ho hath created the 

heavens and th< esuth : And wh. 
ever he sayeth unto a thing 

I have already dwelt among 
to the age of forty \< ars be&n I 
received it -(the ! ho ye 

then nil 

;in snail thy 

1 "hoe- id teach thee 

tne interpretation of dark sayings, 
i Mini the Interpi 

:*. bu the greater 
part of iiK-n i!o not understand. 

O Lord, thou hast L lven me a 
part of the- kingdom, and li 
taughi me the intcr])retation of dark 

And his will be the kingdom on 
the day whereon the trumpet shall 
be sounded. 

The day will come when the 

earih Shall be changed into another 

.h, and tin us into other 

vens ; and men shall come forth 

from their ir raves to appear before 

the only, the mighty tiod. That 

God may reward t ml accord 

ing to what it shall have deserved. 

4 not thine eyes on the good 

things which we have bestowed on 

several of the unbelievers, so as to 

covet the same ; neither be thou 

grieved on their account. 

If God should punish men for 
their iniquity, he would not leave 
on the earth any moving thing. 




Dust thou art, and unto dust 
shall thou return. 

The merciful doeth good to his 
own soul ; but he that is cruel 
troubleth his own flesh. 

Not rendering evil for evil, but 
contrariwise, blessing. 

Call ye on the name of your gods, 
and I will call on the name of the 
Lord. And they cried aloud. And it 
came to pass that there was neither 
voice nor any to answer. 

All that are in the graves shall 
hear his voice, and shall come forth. 
All nations shall be gathered be 
fore him. 

But, beloved, be not ignorant of 
this one thing, that one day is with 
the Lord as a thousand years, and 
a thousand years as one day. 

Go to, now, ye that say, To-day 
or to-morrow we will go into such 
a city, and continue there a year ; 
and buy and sell and get gain : 
Whereas ye know not what shall 
be on the morrow. For that ye 
ought to say, If the Lord will, we 
shall live and do this or that. 

But of that day and that hour 
knoweth no man ; no, not the an 
gels which are in heaven, neither 
the Son, but the Father. 


Out of the ground have we 
created you, and to the same will . 
we cause you to return. 

If ye do well, ye will do Well to 
your own souls ; and if ye do evil, 
ye will do it unto the same. 

Turn aside evil with that which 
is better. 

And it shall be said unto the 
idolaters, call now upon those 
whom ye have associated with 
God: and they shall call upon 
them but they shall not answer. 

And the trumpet shall be sounded 
again, and behold they shall come 
forth from their graves, and shall 
hasten unto the Lord. 

But God will not fail to perform 
what he hath threatened : and ve 
rily one day with the Lord is as a 
thousand years of those which ye 

Say not of any matter, I will 
surely do this to-morrow ; unless 
thou add, If God please. 

They will ask thee concerning 
the last hour; at what time its 
coming is fixed? Answer, Verily, 
the knowledge thereof is with my 
Lord ; none shall declare the fixed 
time thereof except he. 

From the foregoing examples it will appear mani 
fest, that the plagiarisms of the Koran are not limited 
to the leading facts and narratives of the Bible, but 
extend to many of its minuter peculiarities ; to its 
modes of thought, its figures of speech, and even to 
its very forms of expression. Yet, in several in 
stances, we meet with such egregious blunders, as 
to plain matters of fact, stated in the sacred volume, 
as must convict the copyist of the most arrant igno 
rance, or of downright falsification. Thus he makes 
the prophet Elijah (Al Kedr) contemporary with 


Moses, Ishmacl to have been ofi- T<] in -acrifice in 
stead of Isaac, Saul to have led tlir ten thousand 
down to the river s brink instead of Gideon, and, by 
the most monstrous anachronism re, nts Mary, 
the mother of Jesus, to have heen the sam on 

with Miriam, the sister of Mos 

The palpable obligations of this spurious revela 
tion to Holy Writ, and the real or supposed incom 
petence of its nominal fabricator, have very natu 
rally given birth to inquiries into the history of it 
composition. The great mass of writers on Mo 
hammedanism, following the opinion of the Eastern 
1 hristians, have generally agreed in suppoMtiu that in 
the construction of the Koran, the Prophet was in 
debted to the assistance of one or more accomplices. 
It is certain, from the pages of the work itself, that this 
was objected to him at the outset of his career. " We 
also know that they say, Verily ace rtain man tcacheth 
him to compose the Koran." " And the unbelievers 
say. This Koran is no other than a forgery, which 
he hath contrived : and other people have assisted 
him therein: but they utter an unjust tiling and a 
falsehood." 13nt this emphatic disclaimer of the 
Apostle has failed to produce conviction. The un 
believers of Christendom have continued to side 
with those of Mecca, and as many as eight or ten 
different persons have been designated as having 
been, some one or more of them, associated with 
the impostor in the promulgation of his counterfeit 
oracles. The more general belief has been, that Mo 
hammed received his principal aid from a Nestorian 
monk, named Sergius, supposed to be the same per 
son as the Boheira, with whom he became ac 
quainted at an early period of his life, at Bosra, in 
Syria. On this, the learned Sale remarks : . If Bo 
heira and Sergius were the same men, I find not the 
least intimation in the Mohammedan writers, that 
he ever quitted his monastery to go into Arabia, 
and his acquaintance with Mohammed at Bosra was 



too early to favour the surmise of his assisting- him in 
the Koran, though Mohammed might, from his dis 
course, gain some knowledge of Christianity and 
the Scriptures, which might be of some use to him 
therein." The same writer, however, admits with 
Prideaux and others, that while Mohammed is to be 
considered as the original projector and the real 
author of the Koran, he may have been assisted, in 
some measure, by others, though his successful pre 
cautions of secrecy make it impossible to determine, 
at this day, by what agents, or to what extent, this 
was done. After all, the assertions advanced in 
respect to the part borne by others in the compo 
sition of the Koran have never been authenticated 
by proofs, and the whole story has the air of an 
hypothesis framed to meet the difficulties of the 
case. And even were the popular belief on this 
question to be admitted, it would not do away all the 
difficulties which embarrass the subject. For who 
was capable, in that dark period, of producing such 
a work ? This pretended revelation, independently 
of its plagiarisms from our Scriptures, contains pas 
sages as much superior to any remains, whether 
Jewish or Christian, of the literature of the seventh 
century, as they are utterly inferior to the contents 
of that sacred volume which .the Koran blasphe 
mously assumes to resemble and supplant. The 
whole subject, therefore, of the origin of this re 
markable book, with the history of its composition, 
as well as the question how far Mohammed was ac 
quainted with the Christian Scriptures, must doubt 
less remain an unsolved problem to the end of time.. 
Of the literary merits of the Koran, a fair esti 
mate is not easily to be formed from a translation. 
By those who are acquainted with the original, it is 
universally acknowledged to possess distinguished 
excellences, which cannot be transfused into any 
other language. It is confessedly the standard of 
the Arabic tongue ; is written, for the most part, in 

APl MNWX. 239 

a pure and elegant style, abounding with hold figures 
after the oriental manner; and aiming at a conei 
ness which often renders it obscu Though writ 
ten in prose, the sentences usually conclude in a 
long continued rhyme, for the sake of which, the 
sense is often interrupted, and unip ary rep 
tions introduced. This feature of the composition, 
though a disadvantage and a deformity to a transla 
tion, is one of its superlative charms in the estimate 
of the native Arabs, whose ear is singularly sus 
ceptible to the harmony of the rhythmical cadences 
with which the periods conclude. 

When we pass from the mere sound and diction 
which mark " the perspicuous book," it is indubitable 
that its finest passages are devoid of the merit of 
originality. Sir William Jones remarks ; " The 
Koran indeed shines with a borrowed Jiu ht, since 
most of its beauties are taken from our Scripfures ; 
but it has Lrreat beauties, and the Mussulmans will 
not be convinced that they are borrowed." In de 
scribing the majesty and the attributes of God, and 
the variety and grandeur of the creation, it often 
rises to an impressive elevation ; but in almost every 
instance of this kind, it is evident that some pas 
sage of inspiration of corresponding import was in 
the eye of the writer, and the copy is invariably in 
ferior to the original. Yet the result of a candid 
examination of this pseudo-bible of Mohammedans, 
even in our English version, would probably be a more 
favourable impression of the book on the score of 
its composition, and a conviction that amid the mul 
titude and heinousness of its defects, scarcely com 
mon justice had been done by Christian writers 
either to the character of its beauties, or the extent in 
which they obtain. Taken however as a whole, so 
far from supporting its arrogant claims to a super 
human origin and eloquence, it sinks below the level 
of many confessedly human productions, to be found 
in different languages and regions of the earth. 


"With occasional passages of real beauty and 
power, it is, on the whole, a strange medley, in 
which the sublime is so nearly allied to the bom 
bastic, the pathetic to the ludicrous, the terrible to 
the absurd, that each chapter, each page, almost each 
paragraph, is sure to give rise to the most opposite 
emotions. Respect, contempt, admiration, abhor 
rence, so rapidly succeed each other, in the perusal, 
as to leave no fixed or uniform impression on the 

* Forster. 





( From Morgan s V i u F, \ \ > 1 ;t i 1 1 

The articles of our faith which every .com] M 
sulman is bound to believe and to receive \\nh an 
entire assurance are thirteen in number, \vhoivof the 
first and principal is, 

I. Of God s Existence. 

To believe from the heart, to confetti wiih the 
tongue, and with a voluntary and steadl a-i mind ii> 
affirm, that there is but one only God, and Go- 
vernor of the universe, who produced all things from 
nothing-, in whom then* is neither i ma ire nor re 
semblance, wlio never begot any per-*. n \vhat>oev. 
as he himself was be .11 by noue ; who. 
never was a son, so he never hath been a fail, It 
is this Lord and Sovereign Arbiter of all things 
whom we Mussulmans are bound to serve and adore ; 
so that none among us may deviate from this arti 
cle, but every one must imprint it deeply in his 
heart ; for it is unquestionable. 

II. Of the Prophet Mahomet and the Koran. 

We must believe from our hearts and confess with 
our mouths that the Most High God, after having 
revealed himself to mankind by his ancient pro 
phets, sent us at length his Elected, the blessed 
Mahomet, with the sacred and divine law, which 
through his grace he had created, the which is con 
tained in the venerable Koran, that hath been from 
him remitted unto us. By this holy law it is that 
God hath abolished all the preceding ones, and hath 



withdrawn from their doubts and errors all nations 
and people in order to guide them to a firm and last 
ing state of happiness. Wherefore we are obliged 
exactly to follow the precepts, rites, and ceremo 
nies thereof, and to abandon every other sect or reli 
gion whatsoever, whether instituted before or since 
this final revelation. By this article we are distin 
guished and separated from all sorts of idolatry, lying 
rhapsodies, and false prophecies, and from all those 
sects, societies, and religions different from ours, 
which are either erroneous, abrogated, or exagger 
ated, void of faith, and without truth. 

III. Of Providence and Predestination. 

We must firmly believe and hold as a certainty 
that, except God himself who always was and always 
shall be, every thing shall one day be annihilated, 
and that the Angel of death shall take to himself 
the souls of mortals destined to a total and uni 
versal extinction,* by the command of God, our 
powerful Lord and Master, who was able and hath 
vouchsafed to produce out of nothing, and in fine to 
set in form this universal world, with all things 
therein contained, both good and evil, sweet and 
bitter ; and hath been pleased to appoint two angels, 
the one on the right, and the other on the left, to 
register the actions of every one of us, as well the 
good as the bad, to the end that judicial cognizance 
may be taken thereof, and sentence pronounced 
thereupon, at the great day of judgment. It is there 
fore necessary to believe predestination: but it is 
not permitted to discourse thereof to any whom 
soever, till after being perfectly well versed in the 
study of our written law, viz. the Koran, and of our 
Sonnah, which is our oral law. Seeing then all 
things are to have an end, let us do good works, and 
deport ourselves so that we may live for ever. 

* Notwithstanding this annihilation, it is taught in the Koran that all 
intelligent creatures will be reproduced again at the resurrection. 


IV. Of the Interrogation in the Grave. 

We must truly and firmly believe and hold as cer 
tain and assured] the Interrogation of the sepulchre, 
which will after death he administered to every one 
of us by two angels upon these four important ques 
tions: -1. Who was our Lord and our God? 2. 
Who was our Prophet? 3. Which was our reli 
gion] 4. On what side was our Keblah ? He who 
shall be in a condition to make answer, that God 
was his only Lord, and Mahomet his Prophet, shall 
find a great illumination in his tomb, and shall him 
self rest in glory. But he who shall not make a pro 
per answer to these questions shall be involved in 
darkness until the day of judgment. 

V. Of the Future Dissolution. 

W T e must heartily believe and hold as certain, that 
not only shall all things one day perish and be anni 
hilated, viz. angels, men, and devils, but likewise 
this shall come to pass at the end of the world, when 
the angel Israfil shall blow the trumpet in such 
sort that except the Sovereign God none of the 
universal creation shall remain alive immediately 
after the dreadful noise, which shall cause the moun 
tains to tremble, the earth to sink, and the sea to be 
changed to the colour of blood. In this total extinc 
tion, the last who shall die will be Azarael, the Angel 
of death ; and the power of the Most High God will 
be evidently manifested. 

VI. Of the Future Resurrection. 

We are obliged cordially to believe and to hold for 
certain, that the first before all others whom God 
shall revive in heaven shall be the Angel of death ; 
and that he will at that time recall all the souls in 
general, and reunite them to the respective bodies to 



which each belonged ; some of which shall be des 
tined to glory, and others to torment. But upon 
earth, the first whom God will raise shall be our 
blessed prophet Mahomet. As for the earth itself, 
it shall open on all sides, and shall be changed in a 
moment ; and by God s command fire shall be 
kindled in every part thereof, which shall be ex 
tended to its utmost, extremities. God will then 
prepare a vast plain, perfectly level, and of sufficient 
extent to contain all creatures summoned to give an 
account of their past conduct. May this solemn, 
definite, and irrevocable judgment awaken us from 
- our security ; for to nothing that hath been created 
shall favour be showed. Every soul shall be judged 
there by the same rule, and without exception of 

VII. Of the Day of Judgment. 

We must believe from our hearts and hold for 
certain, that there shall be a day of judgment, 
whereon God shall ordain all nations to appear in a 
place appointed for this great trial, of sufficient vast- 
ness that His Majesty may there be evident in splen 
dour. It is in this magnificent and spacious station 
that the universal assembly of all creatures shall be 
made, about the middle of the day, and in the bright 
ness of noon : and then it is, that accompanied by 
his prophet (Mohammed), and in the presence of all 
mankind, God shall with justice and equity judge 
all the nations of the earth in general, and every 
person in particular. To this effect, every one of 
us shall have a book or catalogue of our actions de 
livered to us ; that of the good in such wise that it 
shall be received and held in the right hand ; that of 
the wicked, so that it shall be received and held in 
the left hand. As to the duration of that day, it 
shall be as long as the continuance of the present 
age. This shall be a day of sighs and griefs, a day 
of tribulation and anguish, when the cup of sorrow 


and misery must be drunk up, even the very dregs 
thereof. But this is what shall be particularly ex 
perienced by the ungodly and the perverse; every 
thing shall present to them ideas of sorrow and 
affliction. To them every thing shall become aloes 
and bitterness. Tlu-y shall not obtain one moment 
of repose. They shall behold nothing that is agree 
able, nor hear one voice that shall delight them : 
their eyes shall see nothing but the torments of hell ; 
their ears shall hear nothing but the cries and howl- 
ings of devils ; and their terrified imaginations shall 
represent unto them nothing but spectres and 

. VIII. Of Mahomet s Intercession. 

We are bound to believe, and hold as certain, that 
our venerable prophet Mahomet shall with success 
intercede for his people at the great day of examina 
tion. This will be the first intercession ; but at the 
second, God will be entirely relented, and all the 
faithful Mussulmans shall be transported into a state 
of glory, while not one excuse or supplication in 
behalf of other nations shall be accepted. As to the 
greatness of pain which those among us are to un 
dergo, who have been offenders by transgressing the 
precepts of the Koran, it is known to God alone, as 
there is none but Him who exactly knoweth how long 
the same is to continue, whether its duration shall be 
more or less than that of the examination or judg 
ment. But to us it belongeth to shorten its con 
tinuance by good works, by our charity, and by all 
the endeavours we are capable of. 

IX. Of the future Compensation at the last Judgment. 

We must sincerely believe, and hold as a certainty, 
that we must every one of us give up our accounts 
before God, concerning the good and evil we 
have transacted in this world. All who have been 

X 2 


followers of Mahomet shall be before all others 
summoned to this examination, because they it will 
be who shall bear witness against all other strange 
nations. It shall come to pass on that day, that 
God will take away out of the balance of him who 
has slandered his brother some of the good works, 
and put them unto that of him who hath been slan 
dered ; and if the slanderer is found to have no good 
works, he will -then deduct from the punishment of 
the slandered, to include them in the list of those 
of the slanderer, insomuch that his great justice will 
be fully manifest. At least, then, that we not run 
the hazard of this terrible compensation, let us not 
think of wronging others, or of diminishing their 
substance, their honour, or their good name. 

X. Of the Balance, and of Purgatory. 

We -must believe from the heart, and confess with 
the mouth, that all our actions, good and bad, shall 
one day be weighed in the balance, the one against 
the other, insomuch that those whose good works 
outweigh their bad shall enter into Paradise ; and 
that, on the contrary, they whose bad works shall 
outweigh their good shall be condemned to the 
flames of hell. And for those whose scales shall be 
equally poised, because the good they have done is 
equivalent to the evil, they shall be detained in a 
station situate in the middle, between Paradise and 
hell, where consideration will be made both of their 
merits and of their demerits, since besides their 
being confined in that place, they shall have no 
punishment inflicted on them, nor shall they enjoy 
any part of the glory ordained for the beatified 
righteous. It is true that all those among that num 
ber who are Mussulmans shall be at length released 
from their captivity, and shall be introduced into 
Paradise at the second intercession of our blessed 
prophet Mahomet, whose great compassion will 


be signalized by his engaging, in order to our re 
demption, to supplicate the power and the mercy of 
the Most High, as well as his justice, already satis 
fied by the long captivity of the criminals. Where 
fore let us from henceforward weigh our good 
works, to the end that we may assiduously strive to 
increase their weight, and that they may have the 
advantage over the bad. 

XI. Of the Sharp-edged Bridge, and the unavoidable 

passage thereof. 

We are obliged to believe from our hearts and to 
hold as assured, that all mankind in the world must 
pass one day over the Sharp-edged Bridge, whose 
length shall be equal to that of this world, whose 
breadth shall not exceed that of one single thread 
of a spider s web, and whose height shall be propor 
tionable to its extent. The righteous shall pass over 
it swifter than a flash of lightning ; but the impious 
and the ungodly, shall not, in as much time as the 
present age shall endure, be able to surmount the 
difficulties thereof, and that through the want of 
good works. For which reason, they shall fall and 
precipitate themselves into hell-fire, in company 
with the infidels and blasphemers, with those of 
little faith and bad conscience, who have done few 
deeds of charity, because they were void of virtue. 
There shall be some among the good, notwithstand 
ing, whose passage shall be lighter and swifter than 
that of many others, who shall therein meet with 
temptations and obstructions from every precept 
which they shall have ill-observed in this life. Good 
God ! how dreadful to our sight will this formidable 
bridge appear! What virtue, what secret grace 
from the Most High shall we not need to be enabled 
to pass over it ? 


XII. Of Paradise. 

We are to believe and to hold for a certainty, that 
God did create a Paradise which he prepared for the 
blessed, from among the number of the faithful, by 
which are meant the followers of the true religion, 
and of our holy prophet, Mahomet ; where with him 
they shall be placed in perpetual light, and in the 
enjojunent of heavenly delights ; for ever beautiful 
in the vigour of their age, and brighter than the sun ; 
and where they shall be found worthy to contem 
plate and adore the face of the Most High God. As 
for those who shall be detained in the tortures of 
hell, to wit, the sinners and transgressors, who have 
nevertheless believed in one only God, they shall be 
released at the second intercession of the prophet, by 
whom they shall immediately be washed in the 
sacred laver, from whence being come forth whiter 
than snow and more refulgent than the sun, they 
shall, with the rest of the blessed, behold them 
selves seated in paradise, there to enjoy all the 
glory they can desire. This is what shall befall the 
body composed of clay ; and what then shall be the 
state of our souls ? To the which it shall be granted 
eternally to behold the light and brightness of the 
divine majesty. Let us then endeavour to do works 
of such a character, that we may have no cause to 
fear hell-fire. Let us, I say, chiefly apply ourselves 
to good works, let us not refuse to exert our utmost 
strength in the exact observation thereof, and of the 
fast of our venerable month of Ramadan, and of the 
prayers and ceremonies which are ordained; and 
let us not defraud the poor of a tenth of all our 

XIII. Of Hell 

We must sincerely believe and hold for certain, 
that there is a hell prepared for the unrighteous, the 
refractory transgressors of the divine law, accursed 


of God for their evil works, ;m<l for whom it would 
have been better had they never have been born, and 
to have never seen the light of day. It is for siu-h 
as those that a place of torment is appointed, or 
rather a fire which burneth without touching them, 
afire of ice and north winds, when; then 1 shall be 
nothing but snakes and serpents, with other venom 
ous and ravenous creatures, which shall bite them 
without destroying them, and shall cause them to 
feel grievous pains. That place shall be the abode 
of the impious and of the devils, where these shall, 
with all sorts of cruelty and rage, incessantly tor 
ture those ; and lest the sense of their pain should 
cause them to relent, a new skin shall continually 
succeed in the stead of that which has been burned 
or mortified. It is for us Mussulmans to conceive 
and entertain a just horror of this detestable place ; 
such reflections are the duty of all God s servants. 
As for those others who have declared war against 
our religion, they shall one day feel the torments of 
hell. Let us all dread this punishment and these 
frightful terrors. Let us confirm our faith by the 
sentiments of our hearts, and by the confession of 
our tongues, and let us engrave it in the bottom of 
our souls. 


; .. [E] 


(Collected chiefly from Prideaux.) 

ABUL FARAGIUS ; a physician of Malatia, in Lesser 
Armenia, of the Christian religion, and of the sect of 
the Jacobites. He is a writer of distinguished note 
in the East y both among Mohammedans and Chris 
tians. His Historia Dynastarum embraces the pe 
riod from the creation of the world to the year of 
our Lord 1284. He nourished near the close of the 
13th century, about the time when his History ends. 
His work was published in 4to at Oxford, A. D. 1663, 
with a Latin Version by Dr. Pocock. His entire 
name is Gregorius Ebn Hakim Abul Faragii. He 
is thus spoken of by Gibbon. "Yet in that long 
period some strangers of merit have been con 
verted to the Monophysite faith, and a Jew was the 
father of Abul Pljaragius, primate of the East, so 
truly eminent in his life and death. In his life, he 
was an elegant writer of the Syriac and Arabic 
tongues, a poet, a physicjan, and historian, a subtle 
philosopher, and a moderate divine. In his death, 
his funeral was attended by his rival, the Nestorian 
patriarch, with a train of Greeks and Armenians, 
who forgot their disputes, and mingled their tears 
over the grave of an enemy."* 

ABUL FEDA ; an author eminently distinguished 
among the oriental writers for two works well known 
among the learned ; the one, a General Geography 
of the world, after the method of Ptolemy ; the other, 

* Decline and Fall, vol. v. p. 508, Dublin edition, 1788, 


a General History, which lie culls the Epitom*- of 
the History of Nations. He \v;is bom \. I). i*j7:i, 
and finished his Geography A. D. n-Jl. Twenty 
years afterward he was advanced to the principality 
of Hamah, in Syria, from whence lie is commonly 
called Shufuih aamdk, i. e. prince, of //<//////, when 
after a reign of three years and iwo months, he died 
A. D. 1345, aged seventy-two. He was l>y nation a 
Turk, of the noble family of the Jolidir, from which 
also Saladin, the famous Sultan of EU\ pt was de 
scended. Kcchelensis quotes him by the name, of 
Ish mad Sh ia h in sh iah. 

ABUNAZAR; a legendary writer among the Moham 
medans, often quoted by Hottinger. 

AGAR; the name of a book of great authority 
among the Mussulmans, containing an account of 
the life and death of Mohammed. Johannes An 
dreas makes great use of it under the name of Azaer, 
as does Bellonius in the third hook of his Observa 
tions, under the name of Asaer. Guadagnl, who 
had a copy of the work, draws from it the most of 
the particulars which he objects against the life and 
actions of Mohammed. 

AHMED EBN EDRIS ; an author who wrote in the 
defence of the Mohammedan religion against the 
Christians and the Jews. 

AHMED EBN YUSEPH ; a historian who flourished 
A. D. 1599, when he completed his history. 

AHMED EBN ZINALABEDIN; a nobleman of Ispa 
han, in Persia, of the sixteenth century, who wrote 
one of the acutest works against the Christian reli 
gion and in defence of the Mohammedan, ever pub 
lished. Jernimo Xayier, a Jesuit Missionary to the 
court of Ecbar, Great Mogul, had written in the 
Persian language, two works in favour of Chistian- 
ity, one entitled, the History of Jesus Christ, collected 
for the most part out of the legends of the church 
of Rome : the other called Jl Looking-Glass of the 
Truth, intended as a defence of the Gospel against 


the Mohammedans. This latter work, unluckily for 
the author, soon after its publication, fell into the 
hands of the learned Persian Ahmed Ebn Zin, who 
immediately wrote an answer to it which he entitled, 
The Brusher of the Looking-Glass. The college of 
the Propaganda at Rome were so exceedingly nettled 
by the masterly manner in which their missionary s 
work had been answered, that two Franciscan Friars 
were ordered each of them to prepare a reply to the 
rude Brusher of the Jesuit s Mirror. But as their 
arguments in defence of Christianity were mostly 
drawn from the authorities of Popes and Councils, 
the palm of victory was fairly left in the hands of 
their Moslem opponent. 

AL BOCHARI ; an eminent Arabic writer, who has 
given the fullest account of the Traditionary Doc 
trines of the Mohammedan religion. He is enume 
rated, by Johannes Andreas and Bellonius, among 
the six Mohammedan Doctors who met by the ap 
pointment of one of the Caliphs ai Damascus in order 
to make an authentic collection of all the traditions 
which compose their Sonnah. His work contains 
the Pandects of all that relates either to their Law or 
their Religion, digested under their several titles 
through twenty books, and from its antiquity and 
authenticity ranks among their sacred writings next 
to the Koran. He was bom at Bochara, A. D. 809, 
and died, A. D, 869. 

AL FRAGANI ; an astronomer of Fragana in Persia, 
whence his name ; which is at length Mohammed 
Ebn Katir Al Fragani. He wrote a book called 
The Elements of Astronomy, which has been several 
times republished in Europe, as at Nuremburgh, 
A. D. 1537; at Paris, 1546 ; at Frankfort, cum notis 
Christmanni, A. D. 1590, in Latin ; and afterward 
by Golius in Arabic and Latin at Leyden, A. D. 
1669, with copious notes extremely useful to a 
knowledge of the Geography of the East. He flou 
rished under the Caliph Al Mamon, who died A. D. 833. 


\\, (i.\7\u; a famous philosopher of Tusa in 
JVrsia. lie wrote many works not only in the de 
partment of philosophy, but also in defence of the 
Mohammedan religion against rhriMians. .Irus, 
Pa<r.i:is, and every da- unbelievers. The most 
notrd of liis works is that entitled The Dcstntctimi 

Philosopher*, written against Aviemna and other 
philosophers, who, in order to solve the absnnln 
of Islamism, were for turnin.u 1 into i mnre and alle 
gory numerous points of that religion \\hieh had all 
along been understood literally. These writers he 
violently opposes, accusing them, on account of 
these mystical interpretations, of heresy and infi 
delity, as corrupters of the faith and subv< M; r> of 
religion, for which reason he had the honorary appel 
lation bestowed upon him of 1 lo^hatol Islam Xainod- 
din, i. e. The Demonstration ofMo/Htt/uHcttdnism, and 
thi Honour of Religion. I le was born A. I). I ox, and 
died A. D. 1112. His name at length is Abu 1 lamed 
Elm Mohammed Al Gazali Al Tusi. 

AL JANNABI; a historian born at Jannaba, a city 
of Persia, near Shiraz. His History extends down 
to the year of our Lord, 1588, and in the course of 
it he informs his reader that he took a pilgrimage to 
Mecca, and went from thence to Medina, to pay his 
devotions at the tomb of the Prophet, in that year of 
the Hejira which answers to A. 1). 1556. 

AL KAMUS; i. e. The Ocean; a noted Arabic Dic 
tionary, so called from the ocean of words con 
tained in it. It was written by Mohammed Al Shi 
raz i Al Firauzabadi. He was a person of great 
esteem among the princes of his time, for his emi 
nent learning and worth, particularly with Ismael 
Ebn Abbas, king of Yemen, Bajazet, king of the 
Turks, and Tamerlane the Tartar, the last of whom 
made him a present of five thousand pieces of gold 
at one time. He was by birth a Persian, born A. D. 
1328, but lived mostly at Sanau in Yemen of Arabia* 
He finished his Dictionary at Mecca, and dedicated 



it to Ismael Ebn Abbas, whose patronage he had 
long enjoyed, and died at Zibit, in Arabia, A. D. 1414, 
having attained nearly to the age of ninety years. 

AL KODAI; an Arabic historian. He wrote his 
history about A. D. 1045, and died A. D. 1062. 

AL MASUDI ; an historian. He is the author of a 
history called the Golden Meadows, but his era it is 
not possible now to discover. His name at length 
is Ali Ebn Housain Al Masudi. He wrote another 
work also, with the professed design of exposing 
the base fraud practised by the Roman Christians in 
Jerusalem, in lighting the candles at the Holy Sepul 
chre on Easter Eve. A full account of this vile im 
position may be seen in Thevenot s Travels, Book 
ii., chap. 43. 

AL MOTAREZZI ; the author of a book called Mo- 
grel; he was born A. D. 1143, and died A. D. 1213. 
He was of the sect of the Motazali, and seems by 
his name, Al Motarezzi, to have been by occupation 
a tailor, as that is the signification of the word in 

BEDAWI; one of the most distinguished of the 
commentators on the Koran. He died A. D. 1293. 

a book written in Arabic, containing a great many 
of the absurdities of the Mohammedan religion, in 
the form of a dialogue between the Impostor him 
self, and the Jew who was supposed to have been 
his assistant in forging the Koran. It was trans 
lated into Latin by Hermannus Dalmata, whose 
version will be found at the end of Bibliander s 
Latin translation of the Koran. 

MAHOMETIS. This work was written in Arabic by a 
Christian, who was an officer in the court of a king 
of the Saracens, to a Mohammedan friend of his, a 
fellow-officer with him in the same court ; and con 
tains a confutation of Islamism. Peter, the famous 
Abbot of Cluny, in Burgundy who flourished A. D. 


1130, caused it to be translated into Latin, by Peter 
of Toledo. An epitome of the work occurs in Hi- 
bliander s Koran. 

ELMACINUS, usually written KL.M\M\; an Arabic 
author, who has written a history of the Christian 
religion, which extends from the creation of the 
world to A. D. 111R. The hitter part of it, com 
mencing from the rise of Mohammedanism, was 
published by Erpeuius, under the title of llMnria 
Saracenica, A. D. 16-J5. He was son to Yaser M 
Amid, secretary of the council of war under the 
Sultans of Egypt, of the family of Jobidir, and in 
the year 1238, Elmacin succeeded his father to the 
same office, by whom it had been occupied for forty- 
five years together. His whole nann la (ieorjjius 
Ebn Amid; but for his eminent learning w; n-d 

Al Shaich Al Rais Al Macin, /. e. Thr. prime. I> 
solidly learned. By the last of these titles, or Elm 
cin, he is generally called by Erpenius; but by 
others he is frequently cited by the name of Elm 

ERNOL ATHIR; a Mohammedan author, born A. D. 
1149, and died A. D. 1209. 

ALI EBNOL ATHIR; an historian, brother to the 
former, who died A. D. 1232. His history, which he 
calls Camel, extends from the beginning of the 
world to .the year of our Lord 1230. 

EBNOL KASSAI ; author of the book called Taarifat, 
or an explication of the various Arabic terms used 
by philosophers, lawyers, divines, and other classes 
of the learned professions among them. 

EUTYCHIUS; a Christian author, of the sect of the 
Melchites, whose name in Arabic is Said Ebn Ba- 
trik. He was bom at Cairo in Egypt, A. D. 876, 
where he became eminently distinguished in the 
medical profession. But towards the latter part of 
his life, addicting himself more to the study of di 
vinity, he was A. D. 933, chosen patriarch of Alex 
andria, when he first took the name of Eutychius. 


He died seven years after, A. D. 940. His Annals 
of the Church of Alexandria, were published in 
Arabic and Latin at Oxford, by Dr. Pocock, A. D. 
1656, at the charge of the learned Selden. 

a most silly and frivolous Tract, written originally 
in Arabic, from which it was translated into Latin by 
Hermannus Dalmata, and published with the Latin 
Koran of Bibliander. 

GEOGRAPHIA NUBIENSIS; one of the most noted 
Oriental works on the subject of geography. This 
title was given it by Sionita and Hesronita, Maron- 
ite Christians, who published it in Latin with a geo 
graphical appendix, A. D. 1619. But the Geographia 
Ntjbiensis is in fact only an abridgment of a much 
larger and much better work, written by Sherif El 
Edrisi, at the command of Roger, king of Sicily, for 
the purpose of explaining a large terrestrial globe 
which that prince had constructed entirely of silver. 
He completed his work A. D. 1153, and entitled it 
Ketab Roger, i. e. The Book of Roger, from the name 
of his patron. The author was by extraction of the 
race of Mahomet, and therefore called Sherif, the 
title appropriated to all the descendants of the pro 
phet. There was a beautiful copy of this work 
among the Arabic MSS. of Pocock. 

GEORGIUS MONACHUS ; Abbot of the monastery of 
St. Simeon. He wrote a tract in defence of the 
Christian religion against the Mohammedans, in the 
form of a disputation held by himself with several 
Mussulmans, of whom the principal speaker was 
Abu Salama Ebn Saar, of Mosul. 

JAUHARI ; the author of a noted Arabic Dictionary 
called Al Sahah. He was of Turkish origin, and 
died A. D. 1007. This dictionary is considered in 
ferior only to the Kamus. Golius, in his Arabic Lexi 
con, has drawn largely from its resources. 

JALALANI ; i. e. The two Jalals. They were two 
individuals of the same name, who wrote a short 


commentary on the Koran, which wns be<_ran by the 
first, and finished by the id. The latter com 

pleted the work A. D. 1466, and was author also of a 
history called Mezhar. 

SHARESTANI. .V scholastic writer of considerable 
repute among tlic Mohammedai He w:is horn at 
Sharestan, A.D. in: 1. and died A.I). li:>i. 

/AMACH-SHARI. The aulliorof a work called Al 
Keshaf; which is an extensive commentary on the 
Koran, the most highly esteemed among the Mo 
hammedans of any work of this kind. He died 
A.D. 1143. 


treatise in the Greek language written against the 
Mohammedan religion, published by Le Moyne 
among his Varia Sacra. The author was a monk 
of Edessain Mesopotamia, but in what age lie lived 
is unknown. 


This work contains four apologies for the Christian 
Religion, and four orations against the Mohamme 
dan. The author had been emperor of Constanti 
nople, but having resigned his empire to John Pale- 
ologus, his son-in-law, A. I). 1355, he retired into a 
monastery, accompanied by one Meletius, whom he 
had converted from the Mohammedan to the Chris 
tian faith. The work now mentioned was written 
for Meletius in answer to a letter addressed to him 
by Sampsates, a Persian of Ispahan, with a view to 
reclaim him, if possible, again to the religion of 

bracing a concise history of all ages from the cre 
ation of the world to the year of our Lord 1057, 


CONFUTATIO MAHOMETIS. A Greek tract published 
by Le Moyne in his Varia Sacra ; author unknown. 

of the Byzantine historians, containing a chronolo 
gical history of the Roman Empire, from the year 
of our Lord 285 to A. D. 813. The author was a 
nobleman of Constantinople, where he held an of 
fice of distinction in the imperial court, but after 
ward retiring from public life and secluding himself 
in a monastery, he wrote this history. He died 
A.D. 815 in prison, in the island of Samothrace, a 
martyr to his zeal for image-worship, for which he 
was a most strenuous advocate in the second coun 
cil of Nice. 

the series of the Byzantine historians. It contains 
a history reaching from the creation to the death 
of Alexius Comnenus, emperor of Constantinople, 
which happened A.D. 1118, when the author flou 
rished. He was at first a person of distinguished 
rank in the court of Constantinople, but afterward 
becoming an ecclesiastic, he wrote the history now 
mentioned, and was author also of a celebrated 
Comment on the Greek Canons. 


CLENARDI EPISTOLJE. The author of these epis 
tles was the famous grammarian of his age. Urged 
by his high opinion of the literary treasures locked 
up in the Arabic language, he went to Fez, A. D. 
1540, on purpose to make himself master of this in 
valuable tongue, and that at an advanced period of 
life. From this place he wrote the epistles above- 
mentioned, containing a minute account of the man 
ners and religion of the Mohammedans. He died 
at Granada in Spain, immediately after his return. 


CUSANI CRIHATIO AUMR\M. The author of tliis 
book was the celebrated Nicolas <!(. Cusa, the mo>t 
eminent scholar of the a ire in which he lived. He 
was made Cardinal of Koine, A. D. 1448, with the 
title of St. Peter s (<<i rinnda* and died A. D. 1 H .l, 
about ten years after the capture of Constantinople 
by the Turks. This event occasion to the 

work, in which he aimed to provide an antidote to 
that baneful religion which he saw was now likely 
to overspread a great part of Christendom. 

work is subjoined by the author to his Chronirnn 
Orientate, collected out of the Arabic writer-. I. - 
chelensis was aMaroniteof Mount Libanus in S\ 
and was employed as Pmfc-sor of tlie Oriental 
Laniruaires in the College DC Propaganda Fit/ , at 
Rome, from whence, about the year Kilo, li- 
called to Paris, to a in the publication of the 

(rreat Polyglot Bible, and was there made the kin 
Profo^rof Oriental Laniruaires in the college of 
that city. His part, how< \ r. in the execution of 
that irivat work was said by some of the doctors of 
tht> Sorbonne to have done him little credit. H 
inaccuracies were almost infinite, and such as to 
evince that his judgment came far short of his eru 

valuable work there are two editions ; the first of 
A. D. 1651; the second, much enlarged, of A. D. 
1G60. The author was Professor of Oriental Lan 
guages, first at Zurich in Switzerland, and afterward 
at Heidelburgh in Holland. From this place he was 
called to a similar Professorship at Leyden, but was 
unfortunately drowned in the Rhine during his re 
moval thither. Hottinger was a man of amazing 
industry and of vast learning; but from having 
written so much in so short a compass of time, for 
he died young, his works want that accuracy which 


the maturity of a few more years in the author would 
have given them. As it is, they are all useful. 

METANS. The author of this work was formerly an 
Alfaki, or doctor of the Mohammedan Law ; but in 
the year 1487, being- at Valencia in Spain, he was 
converted to Christianity, and soon after received 
into holy orders ; whereupon he wrote this treatise 
in Spanish against the religion which he had aban 
doned. From the Spanish, it was translated into 
Italian A. D. 1540 ; and again into Latin in 1595, and 
reprinted by Voetius at Utrecht in 1656. His 
thorough knowledge of the subject enables him to 
manage the controversy with a force and pertinency 
which has since been rarely equalled. 

POCOCK. The celebrated Professor of the Hebrew 
and Arabic tongues at Oxford ; for piety and learn 
ing one of the brightest ornaments of his age. He 
was born A.D. 1604, and died A. D. 1691. For up 
wards of sixty years he was a constant editor of 
useful and learned works, connected for the most 
part with the history or literature of the East. His 
most valuable, though by no means his most exten 
sive, work is the Specimen Histories, Jlrabicce, pub 
lished A.D. 1650, which Mr. Gibbon thus signifi 
cantly characterizes in one of his notes : " Consult, 
peruse, and study the Specimen Histories Arabicae ! 
The three hundred and fifty-eight notes form a 
classic and original work on the Arabian antiqui 
ties."* Again, " the English scholar (Pocock) un 
derstood more Arabic than the Mufti of Aleppo."f 


author of this very valuable tract was a Dominican 
friar, who in the year 1210 went to Bagdad with 
the sole purpose of studying the Mohammedan reli 
gion out of their own writings, in order the more 
successfully to confute it. This learned and judi- 

* Decline and Fall, vol. v. p. 139. t Ib. vol. v. p. 228. 


cious treatise was the fruit of his foreign residence, 
which he published upon his ivtuni. ji was trans 
lated from the Latin into (. reek l.y Demetrius r\ 
nins for i) -emperor Cantacuzene, who n 

Client use of it, derivin<_r from it \\hate\ a of mi 

I value in his four Orations against the .Moham 
medan religion. From this Creel n of Cydo- 
nms it was re-translated into Latin by PiVenus. and 
published in the Latin Koran of Bibliand< Tlii- 
all w- now have of it, the oriuinnl heinu- 1<> I liis 
tract of Richard, and that of Johami. - indreaa be 
fore mentioned, were the ablest which had been 
.(ten by p]uropeans in the Mohammr<!;m con- 
tiovrisy previous to those of the Rev. Henry Martyu, 
which were originally published in Persian, and 
have since been translated into English by Prof. I 

of Cambridge. 

.^ ~ 

a history of the Saracens from the birth of Moham 
med to the year of our Lord 115n. The author \ 
Roderie, Archbishop of Toledo, in Spam, wlio was 
present at the Lateran Council in ]-Ji:>. His his- 
tory, from the tenth chapter, is mostly confined to 
tlie Saracens of Spain, where his accounts may be 
generally relied on; but little credit, it is said, is due 
to him wherever he follows them out of the boui 
of the Peninsula. The work was published with 
Erpenius Historia Saracenica at Leyden, A.D. 1625. 



J. & J. HARPER, New- York, have in press, and 
will shortly publish, the remaining volumes of the 
Family Library, which will be executed in strict 
uniformity of style with the present part of the 

By the Rev. H. H. Milman. In 3 vols. 18mo. 
Illustrated with original Maps and Woodcuts. 

Tlio following are but a few of the numerous testimonies of appro 
bation which Mr. Mihnan s History of the. Jews has received in 

* The Editors have been most fortunate in engaginr on this work the pen of a scholar, 
both classical anil scriptural, and so elegant ai :ul a writer, as the Poetry Professor 

Few theological works of this order have appeared either in ours or in any other language. 
To the Christian reader of every age and sex and we may add of every sect it will be a 
source of the purest delight, instruction, and comfort ; and of the inhMrls who open it 
me re ly that thev may not remain in ignorance of a work placed by general consent in the 
rank of an English classic, is there not every reason to hope that many will lay it down in 
a far difl srent mood ? Blacltwood t Magazine. 

" Though the subject is trite, the manner of treating it is such as to command our deepest 
attention. While the work has truth and simplicity enough to fascinate a child, it is 
written with a masterliness of the subject and an elegance of composition that will please 
the most refined and fastidious reader." Edinb. Saturday t Pott. 

" It cannot help being one of the most deep\y interesting works of the day: it is inva 
luable to the ChnstiaH scholar." Einn. Journal. 

^ u The most popular history of the son of Israel that has hitherto been published. The 
highest enconium we can pass upon the work under notice is to urge its purchase, from a 
conviction of its striking and permanent worth." Berkthire Chronicle. 

" The work is admirably adapted for the instruction of youth." Sheffield Courant. 

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readers, ; to the younger part of them especially, we are sure it will prove a most acceptable 
present." Literary Gazette. 

"The narrative of the various and highly interesting events in that period flows on in a 

chaste style ; and a thorough knowledge of his subject is evident in even- page. The wrk 

is spirited, well arranged, and full of information, aud of a wise and well cultivated 

ious spirit." 

a source 

It is not too much to wy, that to the Christian reader, of every age and sex, it will be 
urce of the purest ddight, instruction, and comfort." Cor A Scn^thern Reporter. 

" It is one of those rare publications which unite all the attraction of novelty, and all the 
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youth, alike acceptable to the ignorant, and to be perused with pleasure by the learned." 

Tyne Mercury. 


Nos. IV. & V, with copperplate Engravings, and 
Woodcuts from designs of G. CRUIKSHANK. From 
the 2d London Edition. Neatly bound in canvas. 
2 vols. 

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" After the merited praise that has af ready been given to this work, it cannot be supposed 
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Bristol Mirror. 

" The great history, always interesting, was never better told. The whole work 19 
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"Of the Life of Napoleon Hvonaparte an unusually large impression was speedily 
ea led fir ; and a new edition, consisting of ten thousand copies, has just appeared. This 
little work has been justly lauded by all j .j-fies, for the tone of grave and generous candour 
which it maintain* throughout, it is, in truth, a masterly epitome of all that has been 
proved to be true, concerning the career of the most extraordinary man of the last thousand 
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" We never met with more solid information compressed within so small a space ; and 
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Glasgow Free frei 

"This is a book that must be popular- "Scotsman. 

" Most confidently do we recommend it to our readers. * Oxford Herald, 


MAR < q 19P?